BY SAM SMITH
Wimbledon summer signing Mitch Pinnock has commended new boss Neal Ardley for starting him in all three of the club’s pre-season friendlies.
Pinnock – who arrived from non-league Dover Athletic – has already made himself a key part of Ardley’s team heading into the League One campaign, and netted his first goal in last Tuesday’s victory against Woking.
Ardley also singled Pinnock out for praise following last weekend’s win against Reading.
Pinnock said: “It’s nice to get praise from a new manager.
“He deserves credit because he’s brought me here and put me in the team straight away, which sometimes doesn’t happen for a lot of players moving from non-league and into League One. He’s put his trust in me and hopefully I’ve shown him what I can do.
“I’d heard that Wimbledon had watched me a few times but I didn’t let that bother me and just carried on playing my own game at Dover. At the end of the season I had a few offers and one of those was Wimbledon which suited me, it’s also close to me and it’s a great club – everyone has made me feel so welcome.
“I didn’t really have a choice not to come here.
“I feel like I’ve been doing really well [in pre-season]. I would be buzzing if I was to start the first game of the season and that’s my aim.”
The versatile 23-year-old impressed again in the South Londoners’ narrow defeat to Queens Park Rangers on Saturday and feels that he can make a contribution in several positions for the League One outfit next season.
“I’ve played everywhere, there isn’t really a position I haven’t played,” he said.
“I can play on the right or left of midfield, in the centre or even left-back if need be – but out on the wings is definitely my favourite role.
“I’m not the type of wide player who likes to beat someone for pace, I just like to find a yard and get a cross into the box.
“[The QPR game was tough because] they had a very strong side out, but we had the better of the chances. We should probably have finished a few of those and their goalkeeper has made a few top saves. As a team we were probably better than them.”
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