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Team news: Neal "hopeful" on the fitness of Meades and Abdou for the Dons

"We've still got some work to do," says the manager ahead of Doncaster

30 April 2018

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By Rob Cornell

Midfielders George Francomb and Liam Trotter remain doubtful with knocks, for Wimbledon's trip to the Keepmoat Stadium, but Neal Ardley is "hopeful" regarding the fitness of two other players.

“There are one or two players that are going to struggle,” said Neal in an interview with our premium iFollow Dons channel, ahead of an important game against Doncaster Rovers.

“It’s tough again at the moment. Liam Trotter and George Francomb are going to struggle, but we’re more hopeful of Jimmy Abdou and we're hopeful of Jon Meades as well. They are not definites, one way or the other, but between now and kick-off tomorrow night we’ll do everything we can to make sure they are in contention.

“There’s been players playing with injuries for a while, carrying knocks and getting on with it, but long may that continue for two more games!

“The boys put in an unbelievable shift on Saturday, so for those travelling up and back we just try to get their legs and energy levels where they need to be – the food, the massage, the ice baths and the gym work.

“Neil Cox and Alan Reeves took a session with the other players, so that everyone is ready to do whatever is needed over the last week.”

Neal remains focused on the Dons making certain of another season in League One, having extended an unbeaten run to five games, after picking up a hard earned a point from the 1-1 draw at leaders Wigan Athletic.

“We’ve still got some work to do,” said Neal. “We’ve come together. When you face adversity, you can crumble or you can put your shoulders back and really grow and fight and show all the qualities you need to when you’re under pressure.

“I think as a club we have. The fans have been magnificent and the players have responded, or vice-versa, whichever way round it is. Whatever happens we are all in it together and if we can get ourselves over the line, we can then pat ourselves on the back, take a deep breath, and enjoy the end of the season.”

With little time between games, Sunday was another busy day - as not just match analysis and preparation was on the manager’s mind.

“You think you could do with a day just to recharge your batteries, but you’ve got the opposition to watch. I’ve also got lists on our recruitment of potential players that we might want to look at or we might be interested in. You’re trying to do your homework on them and that can be up to 45/50 players and you need to do that.

“You need to watch the opposition and get that done first and start preparing for the week and the following week, all the things that as staff you might need to be thinking about getting onto. There are lots of things to do, but when you don’t sleep either you get those few extra hours to do the work!” added Neal with a smile.

The full interview with Neal Ardley, as the Dons prepare to face Doncaster Rovers on Tuesday night, is available on our iFollow Dons video platform.

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