NEAL Ardley is monitoring his players’ sleep patterns to ensure they are not caught napping on matchdays.

The AFC Wimbledon manager completed a UEFA Pro Licence course alongside the likes of Wigan Athletic manager Roberto Martinez in Wales two years ago.

He has brought new methods and ideas to Kingsmeadow in an attempt to move the club on from their non-league days under previous boss Terry Brown.

Wimbledon find themselves in a fight for survival in League Two and the fine margins could make the difference come the end of April.

Getting a fully re-energised team on the pitch is essential, particularly when the Dons have had to contend with midweek action, and Ardley is making sure his boys get enough rest for the run-in.

“You can use loads of recovery techniques,” said the Dons boss. “We leave no stone unturned, making sure we monitor their sleep and getting them recovery shakes every day after training to put all the goodness back in their bodies.
“There’s no magic formula unfortunately, other than patch them up and get them through to Saturday. We try and freshen them up and get them ready for another week of Saturday, Tuesday games.
“We make sure they try and get their sleep. Every morning we check how many hours they slept for, check their heart-rate, sometimes they sleep with their heart-rate monitors. There are loads of things we can do and we’re trying to keep on top of it all in a scientific way to give us an indication of how they are.
“We talk to the players and they have a say in things but we have the final say.”

Wimbledon host York City at Kingsmeadow tomorrow as the battle to maintain their Football League status continues.

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