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Lyle declared fit for Scunthorpe opener

Update from the manager ahead of first game

3 August 2017

Neal Ardley today confirmed that Lyle Taylor is raring to go for the big kick-off on Saturday with the striker having shaken off a calf injury.

Our top scorer from last season was withdrawn in the pre-season match at Wycombe last week due to the injury, but he's now back in contention. Tom Soares (thigh), Jon Meades (knee) and Darius Charles (knee) are not yet ready to return to the squad.

Speaking during an interview with Rob Cornell for iFollow, Neal said: "Lyle is fit, he trained today, so we are delighted with that. Lyle has had no reaction to his calf injury and he will be back in the squad. Other than Darius, Jon Meades, and Tom Soares, we are good to go, so I am really happy."

With Saturday's opponents Scunthorpe having just missed out on promotion last season, they are likely to provide a big opening day test for Wimbledon, but Neal is excited by the prospect of starting a new campaign.

Ahead of the game, Neal also called for everyone at the club to stick together, as the Dons aim to be a competitive League One force against teams with bigger budgets.

"Excitement is a key word – everyone looks forward to 3 pm on a Saturday for the first game," Neal added. "I am not going into it thinking, 'what if we lose and don't get off to the start we want?' It is a long season, we know that. We want to try and put some of the stuff we've tried in pre-season into the first game and handle it when we are really under pressure. Hopefully, we can and I am really looking forward to it.There were a lot of positives in pre-season. We are not going to get it right all of the time. We have stuck with one formation for the time being, but we are trying different things within it.

"The boys have got to get out of some habits and not revert to type. They need to be brave in some of the things we are trying to do. The fans can help them to do that by keeping up their support and being positive with them. We are going to have some blips, some ups and downs, and bad runs throughout the season. It happens, particularly when you are not one of the top teams with the most money. We are going to have those runs and as a club we need to stick together when it happens. It is a wonderful club and we need to show that during the good and bad times."

The full update from Neal is now on iFollow and an interview with Callum Kennedy will be up shortly.

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