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Club News

Neal excited by challenge

6 February 2016

Team news and views ahead of Bristol Rovers

Neal Ardley said it’s an “exciting” month ahead for AFC Wimbledon and the aim is to stay in play-off contention by the end of it.

Five games in February starts with a visit to promotion contenders Bristol Rovers tomorrow and Neal updated us with the latest team news during an interview with Rob Cornell for Dons Player.

Neal said that both Dannie Bulman and Sean Rigg are unlikely to return for the match due to injuries, but new goalkeeper Kelle Roos will come into the reckoning tomorrow.

“Saturday will probably come too soon for Dannie and Sean,” said the Wimbledon manager. “We will see today, but I would have thought next week for sure. George Francomb has got another week of training under his belt, which is great. Kelle is a very confident boy and it was an area of the pitch that we wanted to strengthen.” 

Rovers are fourth in the table with an unbeaten home record since November, but Neal wants his squad to be motivated by the challenges ahead during the coming weeks.

“We played for so long with 10 men against Rovers at home, but Darrell Clarke said afterwards that he would have taken a point after an hour because we played so well,” said Neal. “But it is a different kettle of fish on Saturday as they are at home, where they have a good record. They play very brave and go at you.

“I try not to say it is a tough month coming up, but it’s an exciting one and by the end of it we still want to be in with a shout. The players do hurt when we don’t win and we knew that (Yeovil game) was an opportunity to keep the run going. I’ve watched back the video and they came and did a tough job on us. Though we had four or five players who under-performed we still could have taken something from it, particularly when you score two goals at home. The goals we gave away were really bad and that unfortunately does not help you win games.

“It’s really important that we come away with something on Saturday and the boys are looking forward to it. There’s only been once this season in the league when we’ve lost two on the trot. The other times we’ve managed to bounce back and that will be the aim again. Come the end of February we still want to be in and around it with a great opportunity over the last two months to do something special.”

The full update from Neal Ardley, along with an exclusive interview with Kelle Roos, is on Dons Player. An FA Youth Cup preview with Under-18s Reece Williams-Bowers and Jayden Antwi is also on our premium channel.

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