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Jon praised before Oxford

26 February 2016

Full-back in great form ahead of meeting with former club

Jon Meades has earned glowing praise from manager Neal Ardley as he prepares to face his old club Oxford tomorrow.

The 23-year-old full-back has made 32 appearances this season in a highly successful Dons return that has put his career emphatically back on track after a two-year spell at Oxford that saw him feature in just seven games.

Speaking during an interview for Dons Player, Neal Ardley said: “I stated when I brought Jon in first time around that he is one of the most under-rated players I have ever worked with. He is powerful, an unbelievable athlete, he is two-footed and 6 foot 2 inches tall. Jon has so many qualities and he understands the game. The boys love him in training because they can see his quality.

“It’s nice for Jon because he was bought up under me (at Cardiff Academy) and he knows that I have total belief in him. I think when a player knows that a manager has that total belief in him, he does not have to worry about trying to impress too much. Maybe that is why he struggled after his injuries previously when he was not quite able to impress the manager. For me, he knows that he does not have to do that. He is so dedicated, he fights for the team, and he is desperate to be successful.”

  to view that article.Oxford PreviewMore from Neal on tomorrow’s Oxford match featured on the official website yesterday. Click on  

Meanwhile, Neal Ardley brought us up to date with the progress of Dons players out on loan.

Midfielder Tom Beere has been in great form at Ryman Premier League leaders Hampton & Richmond with two goals so far, most recently in the 4-0 win against VCD Athletic on Tuesday night. This Saturday Beere could come up against his Wimbledon team-mate Ben Harrison with Tonbridge Angels hosting Hampton & Richmond.

However, Joe McDonnell’s loan is likely to be cut short and Neal added that he will be looking to find another loan club for him soon.

“Alan Reeves has been to watch them all and we’ve had feedback about them,” said Neal. “Tom scored a good goal on Tuesday night and he is really happy. We keep in contact with the clubs and the players about whether they want to keep it going. At the end of the day we can always call them back if we have an emergency.

“For the time being if their opportunities are limited here it’s a good thing for them to be doing. We will take those decisions after discussions with the players because it’s not a one-way thing. But we are delighted that they are playing men’s football and gaining experience.

“At the moment it looks like Joe might be coming back, but we are looking to line up another loan for him. A goalkeeper needs experience of men’s football. We have come a long way because we could not field an Under-21 team three years ago. Now we have a strong Under-21 squad, a great group of Under-18s coming through and our players are going out on loan and doing well.”

A full six-minute update from Neal Ardley is now on Dons Player and an interview with Dannie Bulman will feature later on.

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