Manager's update ahead of Sheffield United match
Neal Ardley said he senses that players in his squad are feeling they must perform to their maximum to retain a place with plenty of competition to be involved against Sheffield United.
With new signing Chris Robertson pushing for inclusion in the squad and players having returned from injury, Neal is pleased with the options available to him.
Speaking during an interview for Dons Player, Neal said: “For the first time I’ve noticed the lads looking over their shoulders and thinking, ‘everyone is fit and training well’. Obviously, that is my dilemma. All they can do is train hard and do their bit. They have not knocked on my door yet, but they are probably thinking it on the training field.
“We’ve had a good week and it’s nice to have a Saturday to Saturday between games, especially when you have won a match. We know it’s going to get busy again at the back end of September/start of October.
“The last week has given us a chance to get Chris training with the boys and get him in and amongst it. ‘Bass’ and ‘Coxy’ have been doing some good sessions with the players.
“Everyone is good. There are a few knocks, but they all want to be on the training field because the squad is so strong and the boys did well for the Under-21s in midweek.”
Neal added that he is looking forward to pitting his wits against Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder with the pair having studied for the UEFA B coaching licence together a long time ago.
“It is a big club and I am delighted for him,” said the Wimbledon manager. “I was on my B licence with Chris 20 or so years ago and he is a good guy. He did a wonderful job at Northampton last season, but now he is in transition and so too are Sheffield United. They have to get used to the way Chris wants to play. His teams are always attacking, high tempo, and sometimes it will take time. We might be playing them at the wrong time because they are on the back of a couple of wins. They have built their confidence and I thought they were excellent last week against Gillingham.”
, along with an interview with Andy Barcham.Dons PlayerNeal’s full interview with WDON’s Rob Cornell posing the questions is now on