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Preview: Neal's update

7 April 2016

Manager looks ahead to Plymouth

Neal Ardley has reported that he has a slight doubt concerning the fitness of Kelle Roos for the important League 2 clash at Plymouth Argyle on Saturday.

However, there are no other injury concerns heading into the match at Home Park, which pitches together a Plymouth side gunning for automatic promotion against a Dons team still harbouring play-off ambitions.

Neal Ardley has virtually a fully-fit squad heading into the last seven games of 2015/16 with only Karleigh Osborne and George Oakley on the injury list.

Speaking during an interview with Rob Cornell for Dons Player, Neal Ardley said: “We have one slight issue as Kelle had to pull-out on Tuesday in training. He felt his back making a save and sat out today. He would be a slight doubt, but we are confident of him being okay. Everybody else is looking forward to it. Connor Smith and Will Nightingale got game-time for the Under-21s the other day, which was great. It’s getting to the point when you look at the squad and it’s really healthy.”

With the race for automatic and play-off places so tight at the current time, Neal is expecting both sides to really go for all three points in South Devon on Saturday. The Wimbledon manager is certainly pleased with the experience he has in his squad entering a critical phase of the campaign.

“When you sign players you always look at if they’ve been a part of promotion-winning teams. Things like that count a lot. Paul Robinson got promoted and actually scored the winner so he’s done it before. You have to look for that and add to the talented younger ones we’ve got in the squad. It helps your job as a manager when you’ve got players who kind of know. They are looking forward to the games, rather than fearing them.

“The boys have worked their socks off and they owe us nothing as far as their attitude and application goes. We want them to keep going because they are good enough. When we looked at the fixtures a few weeks ago we knew that the games against Portsmouth, Wycombe and Plymouth would be a deciding run. Obviously, the Portsmouth game was called off, but last week we did really well and we have to try and carry that forward for this week.

“It’s hard to know who the pressure is on. Plymouth have been up there all the way through and automatic promotion has been their goal. We are probably in our own little league with six teams all going for one spot. I don’t know what sort of game it’s going to be on Saturday. We know how they’ve been playing, but they probably know how we’ve been playing. I think it will be two teams having a go at each other.”

Neal’s full update is now on Dons Player, along with an in-depth interview with captain Barry Fuller.

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