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Squad boost for Rochdale

25 August 2016

Manager's update for Dons Player

Neal Ardley said that returning pair Jon Meades and George Francomb are likely to be in his squad for the match at Rochdale on Saturday.

Both played 90 minutes for the first time this season in Tuesday’s Premier League Cup win against Wigan and Neal gave a positive bulletin about their progress during an interview for Dons Player.

However, Tom Beere suffered a knee injury in that game and he is doubtful for Saturday.

“Although George has been out for a long while since his knee operation, he has been doing a lot of cardiovascular work with Jason Moriarty,” said Neal. “He has built it up now and had a 60-minute and a 90-minute run-out so he is certainly closer. With George, he needs to be fit to be at his best, as most players do. Jon played a lot of pre-season games and only had a small amount of time off with an ankle injury so he should be a little bit closer.

“I would like to think they will both be fit enough to be in the squad for Saturday. With those two coming back we have got selection dilemmas. Tom Beere tweaked his knee in the game on Tuesday and he was limping for a bit so he may miss out.”

  Neal added that the rarity of having no midweek first-team game offered an invaluable opportunity to work on certain things he is looking to put right as Wimbledon go in search of a first league win at Rochdale.

“We had a fair few of the squad playing on Tuesday so that left us low on numbers,” Neal said. “Sometimes to get the total realism of what you want to get across to the players you need to do 11 v 11 type stuff and if you only have 13 players it makes it hard. We therefore had youth team players training with us on Tuesday so that we could go through a lot of stuff.

“It’s important to have that week so that mentally and physically the players can recover from the rigours of games. We also needed to get some work in to make sure the team cohesion was really good. We are in a tough league now and when you do things wrong you get punished. We therefore have to try and get more right than wrong in games.”

The full six-minute update from Neal ahead of Rochdale is now on Dons Player and an interview with Ryan Clarke will follow later.

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