Neal Ardley today talked passionately about doing his best for AFC Wimbledon after the toughest spell in his managerial career so far.
As a former Wimbledon player and now long-serving manager, Neal said that he’s doing everything in his power to turn around the recent form.
“It has been a very tough week for everybody concerned, including players and staff,” said Neal. “We understand how the results have been and we haven’t buried our heads in the sand on this. I think it’s important for me to talk about that. The board have put out a statement backing me for the time being and I think it’s really important that we understand because you can take the statement in many ways. They are not saying I am here until January and they are giving me transfer funds, but they are saying that for the time being they believe I can turn it around. I thank them for the support, but the reality is that it hasn’t been good enough."
Speaking during an in-depth interview for your official website ahead of the game against Shrewsbury, Neal added that he shares the frustrations felt by supporters about the current season.
Neal added: “My message is, whether you are one of the fans who believe I could be given more time or whether you believe it’s time for me to go, I understand that. I understand the frustrations, I am as frustrated as the fans, but I’m not a quitter, I’ve never quit on this club. I don’t think I could leave this club with me being a quitter. It’s not my way, it wasn’t my way as a player, including when we got relegated and I fought for us as a player. It’s certainly not going to be my way as a manager, but I understand the frustrations. I apologise that I haven’t given the fans what they want from their team. I take full responsibility for it. Those fans that have been behind me, I thank you very much.
“I am a humble and honest person, I always try to be that way. I realise I am very lucky, I’m fortunate to still be here. I have always been very lucky to represent this club. My statement after I stood in front of 20,000 fans at Wembley, knowing that I’d come through the ranks as a kid, was that it was a dream come true. Now I’m facing the toughest time of my managerial career, I’ve never had a run like this.
“We are trying everything we possibly can to turn our form around, to get the mojo back into the players and to try to lift the club, the fans, and everybody. I am under no illusions, if I don’t do that very soon, about what will happen. I am fully acceptant of that, but I will give it my all. My message to everybody, to all the fans, is thanks for everything. I will give you everything I’ve got. There are no guarantees in football, as we know, but if we can get a slice of luck, along with the effort that we want to put in, then hopefully we can turn it around."
Click on the link below to watch the full interview with Neal on our You Tube channel.