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Match preview: Neal calls for improvement

Team news, manager's views and stats ahead of the visit of Pompey

8 September 2017

Neal Ardley is calling for an improvement from his side on Saturday, but he believes the Dons are not far away from hitting form.

The Dons will be looking to build on the win against Doncaster Rovers, when Portsmouth visit The Cherry Red Records Stadium tomorrow afternoon in League One (kick-off 3pm).

Pompey were busy in the transfer market in the days leading up to the close of the summer transfer window and are directly above Wimbledon in 16th place in the table.

Neal Ardley's side are aiming to return to winning ways after defeat at Blackpool last Saturday. Second-half goals in quick succession from Kwesi Appiah and Andy Barcham saw off Doncaster 2-0 in our last home game.

Quotes

Neal Ardley

"For me, results will come when elements of the play improve. We haven't been a million miles away from where we need to be and the league is stronger – and I said that right from the word 'go'. You start to look at a lot of the big clubs and the teams that have started well and we need to buck our ideas up and do it quickly.

"There are a lot of decisions to be made – is Harry (Forrester) quite ready? Who plays in the middle? Who plays up top? There's loads of tough decisions for me, but that's my job.

"They need to gel and that doesn't happen overnight. Kenny (Jackett) tried a slightly different shape and changed it at half-time, so you can't read too much into that game (a 1-0 defeat at home to Rotherham last Sunday).

"Kenny is really experienced and knows what he is doing. He's got great qualifications at the level above and this level so I'm sure he'll get it right.

"It's going to be a tough game as they are a big club."

Kenny Jackett

"It's a fantastic story and I remember watching the play-off final against Plymouth that saw them (AFC Wimbledon) get into this division.

"They've established themselves in League One after going up, but we'll take great support there and we're all really keen to put on a performance they can be proud of.

"It's a tight ground and it's not too far away, so there should be a really good atmosphere on Saturday."

Team news

The Dons will be without Jimmy Abdou, who starts a three-match ban after receiving a straight red card at Blackpool last Saturday. Harry Forrester may come into contention for a starting place, but it's likely to be too early for a return to the squad for Tom Soares, who came through 45 minutes for the development side in midweek.

Left-backs Jon Meades and Seth Owens are the only long-term injured players.

Gareth Evans is available for Portsmouth following a one-match suspension and Pompey are close to a fully fit squad. Drew Talbot is fit and has been training all week, but Jack Whatmough is a doubt after hurting his knee slightly and Milan Lalkovic will be out after having an injection on his Achilles.

Last time out

Blackpool 1 AFC Wimbledon 0
Portsmouth 0 Rotherham United 1

Last meeting

26 April, 2016
AFC Wimbledon 0, Portsmouth 1

Tickets

Tickets are still available for this match. Please refer to our earlier ticket announcement for eligibility criteria.

iFollow

Overseas Dons can watch the match live on our new subscription channel. It's recommended that you download the new app for iFollow. For domestic subscribers, WDON commentary of the game will be available on iFollow.


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