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Ardley: Alty a different test

Boss previews first home match

6 October 2020

Neal Ardley is expecting Altrincham to provide us with a different test to the one posed by Dover when we welcome the Robins to Meadow Lane on Wednesday night.

The boss saw his side succumb to a late set piece on the Kent coast on opening day and is hoping we can bounce back to claim our first win of the season against Alty.

But Ardley knows his men will have to be wary of a side still buoyed by their promotion from the National League North.

“Altrincham are on a high after coming up through the play-offs and they got a good point against Weymouth in difficult conditions in their first game,” he said when he met the media on Monday.

“They’re good in their transitions from defence to attack and have a gameplan on how to win the ball back.

“They move it through the thirds well and have a nice mix to the way they play. They don’t just boom it long and pick up the bits. We’ll have a different test to what we had on Saturday in that respect.

“What they’re doing has worked very well for them – it’s hard to get out of any league so it’ll be a tough challenge.”

Ardley rotated his squad to great effect last season but doesn’t expect Wednesday’s line-up to look too dissimilar to last weekend’s.

“Because the game’s on Wednesday, we’ve got more recovery time,” explained the boss. “I wouldn’t expect to make wholesale changes but we’ll have a look at whether we make a tweak here or there.

“I’ve said to all the players that when I rotated last season everybody was fit and in a good place, which made it easy because whoever I brought in was going to play at the same high levels as those who I took out. The players not in the 11 have to make sure they’re absolutely at it.”

And, while he was of course disappointed not to begin the season with a victory, Ardley has highlighted the need to not read too much into early-season results – preferring instead to focus on performances and ironing out any issues.

“We want to get off to a good start but we also know that this time last year after the first three games we had one point, and we still managed to kick on,” he said.

“We don’t want to be playing catch-up, but there’ll be no panic buttons pressed.”

The match will be available to watch on BT Sport 1 from 7.30pm on Wednesday. Click here for more information on how to follow the match.

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