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Neal: We intend to have a go at West Ham

Preview ahead of Carabao Cup match against Premier League side

28 August 2018

Neal Ardley said that he will be setting his side up to have a real go at Premier League West Ham United in tonight's Carabao Cup tie.

Wimbledon have shown plenty of attacking intent so far this season, without quite mustering the goals to show for it, and the Dons will be aiming to change that against the Hammers.

Though West Ham come here without a win so far this season, they did play well for long spells at the Emirates Stadium, before succumbing to a 3-1 defeat against Arsenal.

West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini, who previously led Manchester City to the title, has spent £100 million this summer after taking the job, but it's unclear how many of his star names will feature tonight. However, young defender Declan Rice, who lives in Kingston, could be in line to face the club he has supported over the years.

Below are quotes from both managers and stats ahead of tonight's game:

Neal Ardley

"It is a freebie. We are not going to get too hung up on trying to contain them. They are a good team, but we need to have a go at them as well. We will try to get the balance right and make it an exciting night. It is a cup game under the lights with the TV cameras there and we will do our very best.

"When we prepared for Spurs and Liverpool we had a whole week to try and get it right. We've had only one day for this match and even then it was hard to put a full blow training session on. We will do a lot of video work in preparation. We will not know the players who are going to play and so we'll prepare for the philosophy and the quality.

"It's harsh on West Ham to say that they've not had a great start. They've played Liverpool and Arsenal away and when you see those fixtures you don't expect nine points. You maybe expect to win your home game in between. They've got exceptional players, they've signed some very good ones, and they have a world class manager. Even if they rest some of the first-team, putting their subs in and the rest of their squad, they are still going to be very good.

"I believe West Ham will have a good season, they will get it right. Hopefully they will come into this game trying to find the right sort of key and because of that we can give them a really good game. We will not let the fact that we've had a defeat or two hinder the way we go about the game. We will try to send the boys out with an intent to have a good go."

Manuel Pellegrini

"I'll make some changes at AFC Wimbledon. My team selection at AFC Wimbledon is not dependent on Saturday's result. We have to play in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday and we are going to make changes because we have a squad and we must be able to play the complete year, and not just have a team that plays all the games. It isn't dependent on Saturday's result.

"I think the fans appreciated the work the players put into the game and they also enjoyed the game. You can never enjoy a 3-1 defeat, but I think most parts of the game we created chances, we played as a big team and we played in the opponents' side.

"I couldn't find the starting XI immediately because there were players who arrived late and we had to put them into shape to try to play 90 minutes in the Premier League and that's not easy.We also need to integrate them into the team. For example, Andriy Yarmolenko will be a very good player for us in the future. We have a good squad but I hope, with these players, we are going to have a good season. We are conceding too many goals for a lot of different reasons. I was happy with the way we defended in the game on Saturday – the second goal was very unlucky and the third was in the last minute when we were up the pitch searching for an equaliser.

"Maybe the final score didn't reflect the amount of chances Arsenal had in our box or reflect the chances we created in Arsenal's box. It's partly the nerves, partly it being the start of the season and partly the pressure to try to win, but we are going to fix it."

Last time out

AFC Wimbledon 1-2 Sunderland

Arsenal 3-1 West Ham

Form Guide (last six in all competitions, starting with most recent)

Wimbledon LLDWDW


Last Meeting (26/3/2000 in the Premier League)

West Ham 2 (Di Canio, Kanoute)

Wimbledon 1 (Hughes)

A couple more from the archives!

West Ham 3 (Hartson, Wright 2)

Wimbledon 4 (Gayle 2, Euell, Ekoku) on 9/9/1998

Wimbledon 2 (Hreidarsson, Ardley)

West Ham 2 (Sinclair, Lampard) on 26/12/1999

Two very exciting games from the past with our current manager very influential in the second of them! The first match mentioned above is recalled with great enthusiasm by older Dons supporters, as Wimbledon came back from 3-0 down to triumph 4-3.


Tickets are still available for tonight's Carabao Cup tie against West Ham and these can be purchased from our online ticket shop until 4 pm today.

Fans must have a previous purchase history prior to Thursday 16 August for tickets/merchandise or be a Season Ticket holder, Dons Trust member or PLC shareholder.

Buy from our online ticket shop and you can collect from the white booth next to the Dons Trust kiosk from 5.30 pm. Please refer to our previous article for a step by step guide on ordering from our CRM system.

That this is an all-ticket match and you cannot buy at the turnstiles.

Match Coverage

Keep in touch with match commentary of the game with our WDON team reporting live from the Cherry Red Records Stadium. Coverage is via our iFollow subscription. Carabao Cup ties are not streamed live on iFollow.

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