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Neal says his squad are well equipped for a big week

Manager's update with Walsall up next on Tuesday

20 August 2018

Neal Ardley believes his squad can cope with the rigours of three tough home matches in a week and he is likely to make changes for the first challenge against Walsall on Tuesday night.

Speaking during an interview for iFollow, our manager reported no fresh injury worries after the creditable 0-0 draw at Barnsley. The match against Walsall is the first in a testing, but exciting week, that includes games against Sunderland and West Ham.

Taking on Walsall is the primary focus for the manager at this stage and he knows that there are one or two players that would benefit from sitting out the match.

"Walsall are a totally different team from last year," said Neal. "Dean (Keates) has got them at it, they have pace in their team, a bit of physicality, and they've already asked questions of teams that they've played against. We need to make sure we are up for that challenge. We've got to look at our own squad and work-out how we are going to get through these games. There is not one player that can play six games in three weeks, it's just impossible. We run a huge risk of injuring them.

"There are no fresh injuries, but there are a couple who are fatigued and have little niggles. There will be changes over the course of the next few games, I doubt there will be exactly the same team for any of them. We are looking at different qualities maybe in some areas, but one or two may need to take a step-back because we have concerns about their fitness. They may need to have a night off and we have total faith that others will come in and do a job, so don't be surprised if you see one or two changes.

"We played against Reading, QPR, and Brighton in pre-season. We were well aware of the qualities that they had and the way that they played, so that serves us well for playing against teams like West Ham and Sunderland. We are well equipped. I know that those games were in pre-season so it is slightly different, but I still feel tactically we can do it. I also feel we have enough threats in our teams to cause problems. First and foremost, we are up against a team (Walsall) that are in form and near the top of the league. That has to be our priority."

With three important home matches coming up, Neal has called on Wimbledon supporters to really get behind the team.

"I always like evening games under the floodlights," said Neal. "It generates a good atmosphere, so hopefully there will be no holding back on the passion and the atmosphere that we do create as a club. We have three big challenges coming up and I think the squad are up to it."

The full interview with Neal can be viewed by clicking on the link to our iFollow channel above and you can see a two-minute clip from it below.


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