AFC Wimbledon boss Neal Ardley has been relying on his neighbours this past two weeks, but it has come at a price.

The Dons Windsor Avenue training base has been virtually unusable due to waterlogged pitches, so Ardley took his men to Sutton United’s 3G pitch.

However, despite being lauded as the future of football, the artificial surface has not helped Ardley maintain the positive momentum built up prior to an enforced two-week break because not all the players can train on it.

Moreover, striker Adebayo Akinfenwa has suffered a tweak in a back injury after training on the 3G, and while he will be fit for the visit of Mansfield Town this weekend it has left Ardley hoping history does not repeat itself.

The Dons were not in action last weekend as the FA Cup took centre stage, and last time they took a similar break it was not a happy return.

“The break is bad for us because the boys just want to play,” he said.

“The last time we had that break we came back for the Stevenage game, which did not go according to plan.

“It has been hard because all the pitches at the training ground have been water-logged, and we’ve had to manage the training.”

He added: “We’ve been on the 3G at Sutton United a number of times and having that facility close by is very helpful.

“But some players can only do the odd day on it, some cannot go on it because it flares up old injuries.

“You’re trying to keep everyone at it and bubbling along, but at the same time you know you’re not on a normal surface.

“It’s certainly a test for the management team and hopefully the players will keep their mentality strong, and come Saturday it won’t be a problem.”

The Dons sit 11th in the League Two table, while the visitors are eighth and a point outside the play-offs.

Ardley said: “Their defensive record is very good over the course of a season and they are not an easy team to break down – [Ryan] Tafazolli and [Krystian] Pearce are very strong at the back.

“They have a striker in Matt Green who is one of the better ones in the league.”

He added: “Adam [Murray, manager] has done a good job turning them around over the past two seasons from one looking over their shoulder to one looking up the table.

“It will be difficult, but we all feel we can finish the season stronger than we started it, but that has to be put into practice.”