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Neal on transfer plans

28 July 2016

Manager interviewed for Dons Player

Neal Ardley said he is prepared to be patient in pursuit of the right type of striker for AFC Wimbledon.

Speaking during an interview for Dons Player after last night’s narrow loss to Crystal Palace, Neal also talked about trialist Sean Kelly, tracking other targets, and getting the best out of our four summer signings so far.

On strengthening his squad for 2016/17, Neal said: “We are still trying to get Sean’s deal over the line because we think he will be a really good addition for us. Then we are looking for that centre-forward – there is nothing that we are hiding on that. But we are trying to get it right. We want to bring one in that everyone will say ‘well, he’s a good signing’. If we cannot get it right before Saturday week (Walsall game) we will keep working hard on it.”

Neal is pleased with the squad assembled so far – and he added that last season’s example showed that new signings need time to adjust to what is required.

“There are lots of positives, but it’s always hard for them to bed in,” Neal added. “Most of my work for the summer was done pre-Wembley by re-signing Darius Charles, Barry Fuller, George Francomb and Dannie Bulman. It gives us players who know what we are about. They know what the manager and staff expect from them. With new players, it’s always a bit more difficult. When you are pressing, players have been told to do it differently elsewhere and we do it here in a certain way.

“It’s going to take a little bit of time for them to adapt to fitness levels, training and the way that we play. Those players have to build that. If you look at Lyle Taylor and Tom Elliott last season, it took a little while to get them into it. When it did happen, they really took off. We’ve got a strong enough squad without the new players to carry them through until they become really top players for us.”

Though Neal was encouraged by elements of last night’s narrow defeat to Crystal Palace, he was far from happy with the goals conceded.

“I think you create good habits,” said Neal. “We did really well against Reading and we also defended in front of our box well tonight (against Palace). When they did try and get amongst us we put our bodies on the line and defended well, but they scored from two crosses. We have to mark people tighter in the box.

“Everyone is disappointed because it has taken away from loads of positives on the night. We were built on more solid foundations last season. I said to the boys afterwards ‘that is not us’ and it’s not good enough. I don’t care if we are playing a Premier League side or not, we have to make sure that it’s a good goal scored against us. They have to be ones when you hold your hands up to the quality. I don’t think two of the goals we conceded fitted into that category.”

 and an interview with Dean Parrett will follow later on our premium channel.Dons PlayerNeal Ardley’s full update is now on 


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