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Neal: we have to earn it

28 January 2016

PREVIEW: Manager on Yeovil challenge

Neal Ardley has warned that victory against Yeovil Town is anything but a foregone conclusion and he has urged Dons supporters to really get behind the squad in their play-off push.

The Wimbledon manager reckons that another 30 points from the final 19 games will secure a place in the top-seven and he says that the fans can play a big part.

Extensive interviews with Neal Ardley, Bayo Akinfenwa and Paul Robinson are all now on Dons Player ahead of Yeovil.

Speaking during an interview with Rob Cornell, Neal said: “These games are tougher than any of them. Give me Notts County away because there is less pressure on you. We are on a run, but it’s really important from a fans perspective that we don’t go into it with the expectation that it’s just going to happen. That can create negativity if it doesn’t happen or if it isn’t happening after an hour.

“My message to the fans is that this is a really tough game against a well organised team fighting for their lives. It’s not just going to happen and we have to earn it. There are loads of different ways we need to try and earn it, but we need total positivity all the way through. It’s going to be a big five or six weeks for us and these games are sometimes the toughest of them all.

“If it’s 0-0 at Portsmouth after an hour, you are thinking it’s going really well against a big club with a big budget, but if you are the same scoreline at home to Yeovil at that stage negativity can creep in. We cannot think like that. Yeovil are in good form since Darren Way has taken over and they will be well drilled. Just go in with no expectation, get behind the players, and cheer them on. Whatever we get at the end let us assess it at the final whistle.

with all those teams fighting for the spots. If we can get 30 points from the last 19 games – which is what we’ve got from the previous 19 – then that will give us 72 points and a good chance of being in the top-7.”th“I don’t think I’ve looked down at the table all season because of the squad we’ve put together. I think we are in a little league from about fourth to 16

Neal added that Dannie Bulman (hamstring) and George Francomb (dead leg) are both doubtful for the visit of Yeovil, but new signing Connor Smith will come into the reckoning for his debut.

“Both Dannie and George are doubtful and it will probably be too soon,” said Neal. “There are also one or two players with niggles that we are monitoring and we will have to be careful with them tomorrow.

“Last week was a bit too soon for Connor. Dannie and Jake Reeves know what we expect and they do their jobs. Jon Meades also knows it because he has trained with us every day. Everyone expects different from their central midfielders. When we do work on the starting 11 I have chopped and changed it to make sure that Connor has been in that and he gets a feel for what is expected.

 “Anything we see he doesn’t do naturally we can point that out to him, but he is a bright lad and he has already taken in information really well. He will be a good addition for us.” 

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