Manager's update for Dons Player before Charlton
Neal Ardley has challenged his players to put things right at Charlton Athletic on Saturday after expressing his disappointment with the manner of defeat to Sheffield United.
Speaking during an interview for Dons Player, Neal said it had been a tough start to the week for the players.
“We’ve had a look at ourselves because we were very disappointed with the Sheffield United performance,” said Neal. “We thought the scoreline flattered us and that’s something we do not want to be looking at. We’ve looked at various things, including team shape, the functioning of that shape, and the team ethic we’ve got. We had quite a harsh video analysis on Tuesday and we’ve tried to take that forward into our training and mentality.
“We don’t feel we’ve reached the heights of last season. That is everybody’s fault and everybody’s problem to solve. We can only focus on us. We’ve had some tough games, including against Scunthorpe, Bolton and Sheffield United, but I don’t think there will be any games when we are favourites. We have to get our heads around it. If we are good at being ‘us’ we will pick-up points and be competitive, but I don’t think at the moment that is the case.
“In the early part of the week we were quite firm with the boys and tough on them. We challenged them a bit with their mentality. In the second half of the week we’ve tried to work towards the game. We want to get them feeling really good, build them up, and take that anxiety away from their performance. It is about trying to deliver that performance at 3.00 pm on Saturday.”
During the interview with WDON’s Rob Cornell, Neal added that he has no serious injury concerns and that Saturday may come too soon to hand centre-back Chris Robertson his debut.
“Some players have got niggling injuries, but they are trying to fight for the team and get themselves on the pitch, which is great.” Neal said. “Chris Robertson had some game-time in pre-season, but he has not played for a while. We are just trying to spend the next week or two getting him up to speed and we may get an Under-21 game into him. The last thing we want to do is throw him in when he is not ready.”
Neal’s full update is now on Dons Player, along with an interview with Barry Fuller.