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Neal: Wembley return is a landmark in club history

Manager on the challenge that awaits against Spurs

5 January 2018

By Chris Slavin

Neal Ardley is eager for his squad to do themselves justice in a 'landmark' event for the club at Wembley on Sunday.

Our manager is under no illusions about the size of the task awaiting Wimbledon against a Tottenham Hotspur side who have reached the last-16 of the Champions League this season, but the Dons did run Liverpool close three years ago.

"I think this is one of the landmarks in the club's history," said Neal. "When you go through the timelines of different things that have happened; the staying up in that first year I was here, that first third round game against Liverpool at home with what happened in 1988, the play-off final. Now we have another visit to Wembley.

"It's important to us that we give the fans a day that includes us having had a real go. Sometimes against Spurs having a real go will not be pressing them high up the pitch in the corner because they will pick you apart. Having a real go is being diligent to stay in the game, giving the fans that excitement of being one set-piece or chance away from taking the lead or equalising. Being in the game is not getting overawed and getting picked off. That is the thing we hope doesn't happen. We want to do ourselves justice. We want to be in the game and give the fans a day when we know they are proud of what the players have tried to do.

"It could have been a game that was easier to win! As far as the occasion goes, at the home of football, and the talent of the team we are playing, it is perfect. I don't expect them to play all of their best players because they've had a ridiculous schedule themselves. I do feel for their manager with games on a Tuesday and a Thursday this week. We have to prepare for a philosophy. Whether they play a three or a four, they can adapt. They have a philosophy; it is brave, technical, challenging and there is an energy about it. That's what we have to prepare for. Whether it's Kane, Llorente, or Dele Alli, we are preparing to play a very good team who play a certain way that will cause us problems, no matter what we do."

A clip of Neal's interview is available to view via the link below. The full interview is on iFollow.

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