NEAL Ardley has challenged his AFC Wimbledon players to become heroes by keeping the club in League Two.

Three successive defeats means the Dons go into Saturday's crucial clash with Exeter City just two points and two places above the relegation zone.

Ardley insists his squad are not pressing the panic button and has urged them to pull together to beat the drop.

He said: “You can't be all doom and gloom. Of course, there's some anxiousness, you wouldn't be human if there wasn't some nervousness being in our position.

“The manner of our defeats recently haven't been bad, we've lost by the odd goal and should've had at least two points from the three games.

“We have to embrace the pressure as a club, players, management and fans together.

“We are mentally and physically ready and can all be heroes.”

Wimbledon's run-in sees them face play-off chasing Exeter and Fleetwood, as well as leaders Gillingham, who are already promoted.

But Ardley insists he would rather be facing sides at the top of the table than scrapping it out with their relegation rivals.

He added: “I wouldn't want six-pointers against the sides around us at this stage of the season.

“We know we can only control our level of performance, and if we are all singing from the same hymn sheet hopefully we should be okay.”

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