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York City's FA Cup opposition 'a work in progress'
AFC Wimbledon come to Bootham Crescent for their FA Cup first round clash as a “work in progress”, reckons new boss Neil Ardley.
The former Dons midfielder, who made more than 300 appearances for the old outfit in an 11-year spell, was unveiled as the club’s new manager in the middle of last month, taking over from Terry Brown who had led the side into the Football League in 2011 but was sacked after a poor start to this League Two campaign.
Ardley’s side have picked up four points since his arrival, and they remain in the 21st position he inherited, but Ardley – and assistant manager Neil Cox – believe there are signs for optimism.
AFC Wimbledon lost 1-0 against league leaders Gillingham last time out and come to York as the underdogs.
Cox, the one-time Aston Villa, Middlesbrough and Bolton defender, said the work was going in to ensure the Dons can pose a significant threat to City boss Gary Mills’ in-form side.
“We are working hard on the training pitch this week to put in a good performance for York City,” he said. “We needed a clear week so that we could sort everything out. We have been running off a difficult timetable since we came in, but with no game during the week we are able to get through a lot of work in training.
“We had a double training session on Tuesday, hopefully we can get through a lot more work, and that will show itself on Saturday.
It is the first round proper of the FA Cup and we want to be in the second round hat. We will go there with our strongest side possible to try to win the game.”
AFC Wimbledon have been poor on their travels, tasting defeat on the road four times in League Two and also succumbing at Stevenage (3-1) in the League Cup and at Southend (2-1) in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.
Only Oxford United have conceded as many as the 18 Wimbledon have shipped during the League campaign. It has been seven matches since they kept a clean sheet.
Midfielder Sammy Moore will definitely miss the game, having been ruled out for three months after scans revealed a shin fracture following the 1-1 draw at Fleetwood Town. Up front, they will rely on runaway leading scorer Byron Harrison, who has netted six times this season.
Former Histon forward Jack Midson, and the injured Moore, are the closest to Harrison with just two goals.