Team news from the manager ahead of Bristol Rovers
Neal Ardley said that he will be looking to members of his squad to step-up to the mark against Bristol Rovers on Saturday with injuries and illness reducing his options.
In his Thursday update for Dons Player, Neal said: “We’ve had a real glut of illness as three or four players have gone down with stomach bugs and I am 90 per cent sure it will rule them out of Saturday. We also have a couple of injuries so we are definitely going to be five key first-team players short on Saturday, which is a real blow for us, particularly when we want to respond to a defeat.
“We always look at it and think that it brings an opportunity for others. We will have a look at the personnel and look at the best way to tackle Bristol Rovers. As long as the team that we put out goes out there and gives everything and really has a proper go, showing that passion that the club deserves, no one can complain.”
During an extensive interview with WDON’s Rob Cornell, Neal stressed the importance of his players producing a positive performance after letting them know in no uncertain terms that he was very disappointed with the manner of defeat at Port Vale.
“Tuesday was an interesting day,” added Neal. “Sometimes as a manager you wait until then because you want to see how your emotions are, but mine were not better. Normally you have calmed down a bit by then, but I was still angry with Saturday. We did a bit of video analysis and we went through a lot of stuff. The players were a bit like, ‘wow, we did not realise how bad it was’. No one means to be. It is not like no one tries and they don’t have passion. They just lack enough of a focus on the basics. We showed them and then we went out and did a really tough training session, focusing on a lot of mental areas. We challenged them on that. I hope we get a reaction because as a manager you try to react to defeats and bad performances. Hopefully, we will get one on Saturday.”
Visit Dons Player for the full 6-minute interview with Neal ahead of Bristol Rovers on Saturday. An interview with Lyle Taylor will follow tomorrow on our premium channel.