Neal Ardley: AFC Wimbledon manager expects testing month

Neal Ardley

AFC Wimbledon boss Neal Ardley expects this month's matches to reveal how they will fare in League Two.

The Dons narrowly avoided relegation last season but have started the new campaign with three wins from five.

Ardley told BBC London 94.9: "This is a tough month. I think this will tell us a little bit more about us.

"I've always said September is going to be a really big test for us. It could build a bit of momentum or it could tell us we've got a lot of work to do."

The Wombles travel to York this weekend and then trips to Chesterfield and Cheltenham sandwich a game at home to Burton.

"October and November aren't going to be any easier," Ardley added.

"If we don't have a good performance it is about how we respond."

The Dons have won all three of their home games this season and have only been beaten once, away at Exeter.

After staying up on the last day in 2012-13, Ardley describes himself as "very pleased" with their start to the new campaign, which sees them sitting fourth in the fledgling table.

However, he wants his side to get to grips with the "ugly side of the game" in order to achieve consistency.

"We had a decent pre-season and you look and think 'we have got the makings of a good team here' but you never know how it is going to go," he said.

"Things are going well at the moment and it is nice to have a look at the table for a change. I am not going to get carried away.

"I don't really know what my best XI is but picking up points on the way is a good habit to get into.

"If I had concerns now it would be if we are going to get consistency, which you need to get to be up there, we need to have a good base of the ugly side of the game week in, week out.

"That's probably the bit that's missing a little bit at the moment.

"Can we not be free-flowing and brilliant in possession yet still know how to win games? It's not an easy thing to do.

"Ultimately, the message will be to be a dogged, hard-working team in and out of possession."

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