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Neal sets double challenge

29 July 2016

Manager on two games in less than 24 hours

Neal Ardley is hoping to see different qualities from his AFC Wimbledon squad in the friendlies against Woking and Dagenham this weekend.

The Dons visit Woking tonight (7.45 pm kick-off) before making the trip to another National League club tomorrow with Dagenham & Redbridge providing the opposition (3.00 pm kick-off).

Following the matches against Reading and Crystal Palace when Wimbledon were forced to defend for long spells, Neal is expecting to see his players express themselves on the ball.

“We’ve had two games when we spent large parts of them without possession and that can happen in games,” said Neal. “We’ve learned a lot from these games, but now we have to try and get the balance right. We want to enjoy possession, but be really good without the ball, which we managed to do in the last two games.

“We are going to look at little bits of a different shape. We’ve got three or four different shapes that we use during games. With new players coming in we’ve been showing them bits on how we do things differently during games. We will first focus on Friday night’s game by getting them set-up and ready so that they know their jobs. I’ve always said that you have to be prepared to win games in different ways and we will be working on that element.”

With two games in less than 24 hours, Neal will utilise his whole squad to get match fitness in for everyone on the final weekend before the big kick-off.

“It will be 90 minutes for one group on Friday, but for the majority of players who played on Wednesday it will be too soon,” added Neal. “Saturday will be their game. The two games will provide good tests. Woking are always a good team and they have a good pitch and set-up. It will be the same with Dagenham as John Still’s teams are always hard to play against.”

Entry prices for Woking are as follows:

Adults £10

Concessions £5

Entry prices for Dagenham are as follows:

Adults £12

Over-65s and Students £6

10–16-year-olds £6

Under-10s £2

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