AFC Wimbledon manager Neal Ardley has finally succumbed to the pressure of punching well above his weight with Wimbledon, losing his job by ‘mutual consent’.
His final game saw his side labour to a 1-0 win against Haringey Borough in the FA Cup, but ten losses in eleven matches had already sealed his fate. Even a 4-0 win against Stevenage in the EFL Trophy wasn’t enough to keep him in a job.
“Neal has been a credit to the club in everything he has done,” chairman Eric Samuelson said in a statement.
“He is a clear thinker, a superb man-manager and a fine coach. I’ve enjoyed working with him and am absolutely certain that he will achieve even greater success in his next roles.”
“He leaves with my personal thanks and gratitude for what he has done in his time here at AFC Wimbledon.”
Ardely spent 11 years at the old Wimbledon as a player, before re-joining AFC as manager in 2012. He managed their first ever games against MK Dons, as well as seeing them finish above them last season for the first time ever.
Their poor run of form has left them perilously close to the drop this season, a battle likely to rage on all season.
Ardley has done a grand job at Wimbledon, constantly fighting much bigger teams on small budgets and small crowds.
Losing Lyle Taylor was a huge blow in the summer, he scored the goals that kept them up last season, but this time around they’ve been unable to find a replacement, leading to him leaving this morning.