Assistant manager interviewed after win at Dagenham & Redbridge
Neil Cox was pleased with AFC Wimbledon’s final warm-up matches in preparation for 2016/17, but he believes that new signings will take time to adjust to what the management team want from them.
Speaking to Dons Player after a victory at Dagenham & Redbridge that made it two wins in two days, Neil said: “We are ready to go and that’s what we’ve been working towards. It’s been a short pre-season and we could have done with a little bit more time, but you don’t get that when you go up via the play-offs. We are organised and we’ve got a good hard week of training to come. We are looking fit and strong and the main thing is that we’ve picked up no injuries.
“We played two games in two days and they were both good work-outs. Some of the boys who played on Wednesday also played today (at Dagenham) so they have got their match fitness up. Dagenham caused us one or two problems, which we expected. We are in League One now and teams want to beat us.
“The new players had not played the diamond formation. We try to do that a bit differently when we are out of possession. We had been working on it for two or three days, but we needed to put it into practice. In the first-half we did not really get to grips with it, but the manager tinkered with it at half-time and we managed to sort it out for the second-half. They had a bit more possession, but I thought we looked dangerous on the break.
“Our new players have settled in well, but it’s not been easy. Some of them have had eight or nine weeks off because their seasons finished earlier. We’ve had to taper their training. They are learning what the manager wants and how we want to do it with different formations. Everyone is needed and it’s a squad game. AFC Wimbledon is about the squad, not individuals, and they are understanding that situation.”
Neil added that the management team had made meticulous plans for Walsall next Saturday – and beyond.
“Since we’ve been at the club we’ve always done our homework on other teams,” added Neil. “Alan Reeves went to watch Walsall today (Saturday) and we will do our homework on them, like we will with every game. It is about us now though. We’ve got a squad of 22 or 23 and we’ve had to keep everyone close and happy. Some of the younger boys have come in and done well. We have a lot of games in the first seven or eight weeks and we are going to need everyone fit.”
Dons Player features the full update from Neil Cox, along with interviews with Tom Elliott and Lyle Taylor.