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Neal targets club history

6 January 2017

Manager on Saturday's cup tie at Sutton United

Neal Ardley said that tomorrow’s Emirates FA Cup tie against Sutton United is exciting for everyone involved as he aims to guide AFC Wimbledon into the fourth round for the first time.

Though National League side Sutton United will be viewed as the underdogs, Neal is expecting an even contest and he has huge respect for what opposing manager Paul Doswell has achieved.

Speaking during an interview for Dons Player, Neal said: “I don’t think we can look at what team we could get in the next round. For us, it is a game of football we are desperate to win. If we can win, it will be the first time this club has got to the fourth round. In the last four years we’ve achieved a lot of firsts. Playing Liverpool in the third round was a first and now we are trying to get into the fourth round. We know that we have a really good cup tie ahead of us and we are looking forward to it. If we get there, we can have a little bit of a buzz on Monday night and see who comes out of the hat.

 “I am a big fan of what Paul Doswell has achieved. He is very similar to myself here because he has the club at heart. The club has grown a lot in the last five years and the run they went on last season to get promotion was exceptional. They are now holding their own in a tough league above, similar to ourselves. They have got some really good quality, experienced players, and some lively younger ones. They are trying to build it steadily up below the first-team. I have a lot of respect for the job Paul has done and it should be a real humdinger on Saturday.”

A clip of Neal’s Dons Player interview can be viewed on our official You Tube channel via the link above.

During an extensive update, Neal reported that Saturday’s game will come too soon for Chris Whelpdale, but he is back in training after a groin injury. Of course, the Dons will also have to adapt to a 4G pitch that Sutton are accustomed to winning on, but Neal sees it as just another hurdle to overcome during an FA Cup run that has certainly been eventful.

 We have a new situation ahead of us that we have to overcome.”It will be a really evenly matched game on Saturday.Neal added: “We have a couple of niggles due to playing two games three days, but we are in good spirits and it’s the third round of the FA Cup – these are the games you want to play in. With regards to the pitch, it is something we will embrace. Sutton’s form on it at home is very good so they will be confident, but we are looking forward to taking on the game and finding out about ourselves. We have come through several difficult situations. We were 2-0 down at Bury and 3-0 down at Curzon.

  .Dons PlayerThe full interview with Neal and an interview with Darius Charles are both on 

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