Neal Ardley has spoken about the importance of his players maintaining focus with the target of sealing League One survival now in their sights.
AFC Wimbledon today travel to the Keapmoat Stadium for the first time since reformation aiming for a result that will seal a third season in League One, but Neal Ardley is expecting a tough match against a Doncaster side with four points more after 44 games.
The Dons will be aiming for a repeat of the performance that defeated Doncaster in August with Andy Barcham’s goal sealing a 2-0 victory after Kwesi Appiah’s opener.
Of course, Wimbledon go into the match on the back of an excellent performance at Wigan with a 1-1 draw moving the Dons closer to the target of staying up.
Below are quotes from both managers, plus stats, and key information.
"Different stages of the season can bring about different things. You can play teams when they have got momentum and you can play teams at the end of the season when they are safe. I don’t think that will matter with a manager like they have got, he will keep them at it all the way until the last game. They have two home games now and they will want to finish the season on a high. We’ve watched them and they have some very good players. By any stretch of the imagination, going away from home to anybody is always tough, so we will have our work cut out.
“It is important that we have focus at this stage of the season. I think in the last four or five weeks that as a club we have grown. Since the Scunthorpe game the fans have been incredible, both home and away. That’s really brought about a momentum in itself and the performance of the players has warranted it. The players have really dug in at a time when people feel the pressure. We’ve managed to go five games unbeaten and that’s not easy with the fixtures we’ve had. We just have to get over the line now. We cannot look back at that and pat ourselves on the back. We need another point. Our remit at the start of the season would almost certainly have been to stay in this league and if we achieve that it has been a huge success.”
"I like them [AFC Wimbledon], I think they're a good team. They're full of energy and they played very well on Saturday in the first-half against Wigan. They've been playing with two strikers, which we don't face all the time. They have good experience and they still need something to make sure they're safe. It will be a tough game. It was a strange game at their place, it was boiling hot and we were poor on the day, they scored their two goals and saw the game out comfortably in the game.
"We haven't had quite enough quality in the final third, we didn't have a shot on target at Oldham and that can't happen so we have to find a way of creating more chances. We've only got one player in double figures for goals, so that is an area that if we can we would like to keep improving and look for more goals from the players we have here at the moment. Sometimes it can be improving the support for the strikers, the final cross or the final pass is just as important and that is where we have fallen short in certain games."
Last time out
Oldham Athletic 0-0 Doncaster
Wigan 1-1 AFC Wimbledon
Neal Ardley said that he’s hopeful of Jon Meades and Jimmy Abdou both being fit, but Liam Trotter and George Francomb are less likely to make the squad. Doncaster have no fresh injury worries for this match.
AFC Wimbledon 2-0 Doncaster (26 August 2017)
Watch the highlights from Wimbledon’s first League One win of the season by clicking on the link below.
AFC Wimbledon DDWWDL
This is not an all-ticket match and you can pay on the day.Dons fans can collect pre-booked tickets or buy tickets from the Club Doncaster Academy reception (next to the away turnstiles).
Ticket prices are as follows:
18-21 years £13
Tickets bought for the initial match, which was postponed in April, will still be valid.
Domestic subscribers can listen to full commentary from our WDON team by tuning into our iFollow channel. Overseas subscribers can watch a live stream of the game. Visit our designated iFollow page for more information.