Dons chief Ardley takes time out after Rovers disgust

This Is Local London: Taking a little time out:  Neal Ardley will be  raising a glass this weekend Taking a little time out: Neal Ardley will be raising a glass this weekend

AFC Wimbledon are without a game this weekend, but boss Neal Ardley and his back-room staff will not be parted.

After last weekend’s disappointing 3-0 defeat at Bristol Rovers, the players entered a two-week break from League Two action with Ardley’s disgust ringing in their ears.

They face a long wait to put matters straight on the field until a busy Christmas period begins on December 14 with the visit of Mansfield Town.

So busy is the winter schedule for Ardley, he is using this weekend to raise a glass to his hard-working staff.

“I’ll take in a game on Saturday afternoon, and then go out for dinner with my staff with their wives for Christmas,” he said.

“You spend every minute with your staff, but to get them and their wives out, say ‘Hello’ and have a Christmas drink is important.”

Ardley was left fuming after the Rovers defeat ended a run of four league games unbeaten – it saw the Dons drop to 12th in the table.

He said: “I was disgusted at our performance on Saturday. I sit up late into the night watching videos on Rovers, and I prep the players on exactly what they need to do.

“I told them it was going to be second balls, it’s going to be long balls, it’s going to be set pieces – they will not let you settle.

“I told them they had to stand up to that. Their first goal was a second ball from a set piece and their second goal was a set piece.

“I gave my players all the information they needed and they went out and did the opposite. I felt let down.”

He added: “I told the players before the game that if we won, we’d have a good two weeks, but if we lost, it would be a bad two weeks, and we’re having a bad two weeks.

“I can only be honest, I won’t hide behind saying so and so is injured. It was a bad defeat, we were bad and I was disgusted.

“I told players after the game they need to take a long look at themselves and the season ahead.”

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