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Club progress lifts Neal

22 February 2016

Manager interviewed on Dons Player ahead of Carlisle

Neal Ardley said his squad are determined to maintain upward momentum created by a superb recent run with the club’s success in other areas having served as inspiration.

The Wimbledon manager is under no illusions that tomorrow night against Carlisle will be a tough proposition, but he’s eager to prolong a feel-good factor that goes back to before Christmas.

With six wins out of seven, including 19 goals in the process, there is unsurprisingly no shortage of confidence in the camp.

Speaking during an interview for Dons Player, Neal said: “The fans are going to play a big part. I think there is a bit of a buzz about the place. The FA Youth Cup game a couple of weeks ago was a really uplifting experience and you can also look at the success of the ladies team. With the stadium news and everything going on around the place, it’s a good season for us. The players are determined to keep that alive.

“Since before Christmas the form has generally been good. We have got on a roll of winning games and people feel confident. Even earlier in the season I had conversations with supporters and they talked about how many chances we were wasting. We had conversations about whether you are hard on the strikers or whether you try and take the pressure off them. We were creating a lot of chances – and I think all season we’ve done that – but we were not putting them away. That was resulting in us drawing games we should have won.

“Now they feel more confidence, everyone is bubbling along. The defence feel that every time we go forward we can score and the forwards know we can score. That probably goes a long way to creating that momentum. I had a conversation with Chris Wilder at Northampton the other day and he said he’s waiting for their bad run to start. It’s a pessimistic way of looking at it, but you wonder how long you can keep it going. We are trying not to get too hung up on it. We just turn up every day with smiles on our faces and look forward to the next game.”

Tomorrow’s match against Carlisle starts a tough schedule of games for the Dons, but Neal believes they can come through it successfully.

“George Francomb had a little bit in his hip flexor on Saturday, Jon Meades felt his calf and Andy Barcham took a whack on his ankle, but you are not going to get through these games with everyone feeling wonderful,” added Neal. “The boys need to trust us now, for example like today when we went through all the processes to start the recovery and speed it up. There will be one or two niggles, but it won’t hinder what we do. We will make a selection call. We will expect players if they do come in to perform or if it is the same team to perform to a high level.”

 .ticket shopA more comprehensive preview ahead of the Carlisle game will feature tomorrow on the official website. Neal’s full update and an interview with Andy Barcham are on Dons Player. Seat and terrace tickets are available from our online  

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