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Neal set to select strong squad for Checkatrade Trophy match

Manager sums up approach, ahead of Tuesday night's game

2 October 2017

By Chris Slavin

Neal Ardley said that tomorrow night's Checkatrade Trophy group game will offer a good opportunity for senior players seeking match fitness and youngsters aiming to stake a claim.

AFC Wimbledon host Tottenham Hotspur's Under-21s at the Cherry Red Records Stadium on Tuesday (7.45 pm kick-off) in Southern Group F.

"We will be strong," said Neal. "There will be some who need a breather, but if you look at our bench (against Rochdale) we had Robbo and Darius, plus Callum Kennedy can come into it. We have a number of players who can come into it for this game. We will try to have a good go at it because we need to score goals and win games. We need to get that nice feeling amongst the group from any game and we will be looking to do that.

"We want to get that winning feeling. If the young players have shown that they are up to that, then they will get an opportunity. If they haven't, they will be on the bench. It's an opportunity to say to them, 'you have got to keep doing more to get a chance'. There will be some youngsters who get a chance, but we will be strong.

"It's not a case for us of having a settled team. I want players in the team to be thinking, 'if I let my standards drop, there are people waiting to take my place'. We have Jon Meades on the way back and Callum has just come back too. Jimmy Abdou has been on the bench and Anthony Hartigan has been brilliant, but we are looking after him. We want the boys currently wearing the shirts to do a lot of things right, but they have to keep the other players at bay."

Supporters can pay on the night tomorrow with the following ticket prices:

Seats (Paul Strank Stand)

Adults and concessions (over 65 years) £15

Under-18s £5

Chemflow Terrace

Adults and concessions (over 65 years) £12

Under-18s £4

Spurs supporters will be accommodated in the John Green Stand for this match. The RyGas terrace will remain closed, unless there is unexpectedly high demand.

A reminder below of player eligibility for EFL clubs in the Checkatrade Trophy:

• A club can play any goalkeeper in the competition;

• The revised requirement of Rule 7.3 – '4 qualifying outfield Players from 10'.

A qualifying outfield player would be:

Any player that meets the current criteria (excluding goalkeepers), includes those who:

• Have started the previous or following first team fixture.

• Are in the top 10 players at the club for starting appearances in league and domestic cup competitions for the current season.

• Have made 40 or more first team appearances in their career.

• Are on loan from either a Premier League or Category 1 academy club.

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