Pressure on West Ham, says AFC Wimbledon boss Neal Ardley
Watch AFC Wimbledon v West Ham live on Sky Sports Football from 7.30pm on Tuesday
Last Updated: 28/08/18 11:08am
AFC Wimbledon manager Neal Ardley says his side can be confident of causing an upset in Tuesday's Carabao Cup tie at home to West Ham.
The Dons began life in the ninth tier of English football 16 years ago, a fortnight after a West Ham team featuring Paolo Di Canio, Joe Cole, Michael Carrick and Jermain Defoe had finished seventh in the Premier League.
After six promotions in 13 seasons, Wimbledon host West Ham as a League One team, and despite not winning in their last four games, Ardley believes his side can give West Ham a stern test.
"I think the key [for us] is to say it's a free hit in many ways," the Dons boss told Sky Sports News.
"No one expects us to win but within the camp we feel we can. It's a free hit. The pressure will be on them and not us in our eyes.
"It's a cup game under floodlights with the TV cameras there. I think it's a great, exciting game - if you can't get excited for it then you shouldn't be in football.
"I think we know if West Ham are really, really at it, and on song, it's going to be awfully difficult for us to get a result.
"What we need to do is just worry about ourselves and say 'we know how we want to play, we know the tempo we want to play at'. And if we bring that, then we ask questions of them and we ask them to be at their best to get a result."
Ardley added: "I think they have got a big enough squad to make some changes but still be exceptionally good. I think they will do really well this season - I know it hasn't started as they wanted it to but they have played away at Liverpool and away at Arsenal and that is not easy.
"I think they'll get better, and they have got a world-class manager."