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Neil salutes team spirit

30 September 2016

Assistant manager on tomorrow's match against Gills

Neil Cox believes Wimbledon have shown plenty of battling qualities during a run of just one defeat in seven games and he has called on the players to maintain such commitment.

Our assistant manager is expecting a tough game tomorrow against a Gillingham side currently eighth in League One and he knows that the squad will need to be at its best to achieve a positive outcome.

Speaking during an interview for Dons Player, Neil said: “I think we’ve shown a really good fighting spirit. We’ve not played well in some games, but we’ve been able to get something out of them. We need to retain our team spirit and the bond together we have got. I thought away at Coventry we showed a really good spirit together. We did not start the game very well, but we got ourselves back into it and looked like we were going to win the game. With a little bit of a luck and a linesman’s decision, we would have got all three points.

“It’s going to be tough tomorrow because they are a good side. They had a real push last year, but just missed out in the end. Justin Edinburgh has got them going again. They will be aggressive and they play different formations. We will have to be at it to make sure we get something at home.

“Sometimes Justin’s teams get the ball down at the back and play, but sometimes they get it forward with three in midfield and press. We just have to be ready for everything because they’ve changed formations. They’ve gone from four at the back to three at the back and we will have to wait and see what they do at 3 pm tomorrow, before organising ourselves a bit better then. Until we know how they are going to play, we have to be mindful of what do first.

“We cannot just rely on our centre forwards to score goals and we need to mix it around. ‘Robbo’ has got one already this season, but we need Barry Fuller to chip in and Jon Meades to score a few more. We need midfielders to score goals. We are a team, we all work hard together, and it’s not about individuals.”

Neil confirmed that George Francomb is not yet ready to return from the facial injury he suffered at Charlton Athletic, but he said that centre-back Chris Robertson is pushing for inclusion after stepping up his fitness in recent weeks.

It’s now almost four years since Neil was appointed as assistant manager by Neal Ardley and he is grateful for the support they have received from the club at a time of instability elsewhere.

“We’ve been in the job nearly four years and we are grateful to our football club that they stood by,” Neil added. “The big game for the club since we’ve been here was the last game of our first season when we managed to stay up. We’ve grown and grown since then. It’s difficult for managers now because they only get a six-month period and that’s not long enough to build a side. The board here have been good to us and they have let us get on with it.

“The training facilities are coming on, we are getting fans into the ground, and a new stadium looks like it’s coming, which is fantastic news for the club. We just have to keep going and keep progressing as a club.”

   The full update from Neil Cox is now on Dons Player, along with an interview with Jon Meades. 

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