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League Two

AFC Wimbldon boss Neal Ardley admits distractions

26 April 2014

AFC Wimbledon boss Neal Ardley admits the ongoing situation regarding a potential points deduction has distracted his side after they slumped to a 3-0 defeat at home to Morecambe.

The club will appear before a Football Disciplinary Commission on Monday after being charged by The Football League of fielding Jake Nicholson ineligibly in a victory against Cheltenham Town last month.

Currently sitting 14th, nine points clear of the relegation zone, Ardley's side could face a points deduction ahead of the final weekend of games in Skt Bet League 2.

And they were put to the sword by the Shrimps, who secured their own survival through goals from Jack Redshaw, Jamie Devitt and a Paddy Amond penalty late on.

And Ardley admitted afterwards that he opted not to tell his players about the potential points deduction.

"I didn't let the players know for a number of reasons. I wasn't sure how some of them would have handled it," he said.

"It wasn't something we wanted to be public knowledge and for the opposition to know that a points deduction could be the case.

"We've talked about every permutation. Between me and the staff in the training we really decided to crank everything up and drive the players home.

"The players have now put two and two together. For instance, some of my team talks, before Southend, before Plymouth, where they thought I was over the top.

"It's been flat this week, I think it's taken its toll. I'm certainly very drained and tired from it.

"We looked at the team we picked and one or two who could play roles next season and who can't and you learn a bit all the time."

For the Shrimps it was a first clean sheet since Boxing Day and guarantees their League Two status for next season after Wycombe's defeat to Bristol Rovers.

And manager Jim Bentley could not hide his relief after the result.

"It's been a difficult few weeks for us but you have to take the ups and downs in football, these things will only make me a better manager," he said.

"We've got learn from this and we have a lot of young lads who will only get better. I believe as a team we will be better next season.

"We've been unlucky with injuries but you can't use that as an excuse.

"The last three or four weeks have been a nightmare and they've really taken their toll on my whole life.

"I've not been nice to live with, but I'm at the head of the ship and every day I've come in and stayed positive.

"But I'm already looking forward to next week and seeing if we can match our points total from last season which would be an unbelievable achievement for us.

"And I'm looking forward to having a drink at last!"

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