Manager looks forward to Bury tie on Saturday
Neal Ardley spoke passionately about the significance of the Emirates FA Cup, ahead of Saturday’s first round tie at Bury.
Though England’s flagship knockout competition has been devalued in some quarters, it’s not a view shared by the Wimbledon manager, who was a youth team player when the Dons famously beat Liverpool in 1988.
“For me and clubs like us, it’s still the greatest cup competition,” said Neal. “We will give it everything we possibly can. We don’t want a replay, but if a replay is the pathway through to the next round we will take it and we will deal with the fixtures as they come. I am desperate to be in the next round and I am sure that the players are.”
Click on the link above to hear Neal talking about his memories of 1997 when Wimbledon were beaten in the FA Cup semi-final by Chelsea and what 1988 glory meant to him as a teenage boy making his way in the game.
Of course, Neal is under no illusions that Bury will provide a tough obstacle to potential progress as Wimbledon seek to repeat a run to the third round once again after memorably meeting Liverpool in January 2015.
“David Flitcroft is a good manager,” added Neal. “He did a great job getting Bury promoted. I know they’ve had suspensions and injuries and that has coincided with a loss of form, but they will probably be thinking, ‘this is the FA Cup and a break from the league’. The FA Cup can bring the best out of people. We know about the ‘wounded animal’ and all that. We have to go there and make sure we give them as tough a game as we can.”
, along with an interview with James Shea.Dons PlayerA full update from Neal Ardley is now on