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Neal ahead of Wigan: there are reasons to be optimistic

Preview: Dons prepare to face league leaders

15 December 2017

By Chris Slavin

Neal Ardley is fully aware of the tough challenge that awaits against league leaders Wigan Athletic tomorrow, but he believes the Dons go into it with renewed confidence after getting back among the goals recently.

During an extensive interview for iFollow ahead of tomorrow's match, Neal said: "We have had to rely on two forwards for most of the season so far and I know goals were an issue. The two forwards were trying their hardest, but it was not coming off. Sometimes you need to stick with it and the goals will come. All of a sudden, the goals have come and they all feel good. The whole team feels like it has goals in it now: the forwards look razor sharp and there is a different feel about it. Sometimes you need the results and the goals to flow for the confidence and momentum to build.

"I believe we have a good team and I believe in the last 26 games we can achieve whatever we want. We have a great cup tie, which will be great for our fans, but we are behind schedule on points. We are behind where we want to be, but there are reasons to be optimistic."

Wigan visit the Cherry Red Records Stadium tomorrow with a four point lead at the top of League One and Neal says they deserve to be in that position.

"At the moment with the way things are, we are probably taking on the best team in the league," added Neal. "Paul Cook does a wonderful job wherever he goes. Whenever we play against one of his teams, it is usually against a team at the top. 'Cooky' has got his way of doing things and he does not change it, but it's very hard to stop. He assembled a very good team at Portsmouth and they deservedly went up as Champions. Now he has got an even better team with players who have played in the Championship. He gets them at it and we will have to put in a really good performance to get anything from them.

"We get a lot of information about the league and stats and everything shows us that Wigan are not there by chance. They are there because in most games they are the best team. We cannot guarantee a result against top of the league, but hopefully what we can do is send out a team that gives everything with a really passionate, high energy, performance."

For those who may have missed it, Neal talked about the importance of producing a good performance after Wednesday's fantastic stadium news. Read the article or visit our iFollow channel for more.

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