AFC Wimbledon boss Neal Ardley believes the diving prima donnas of the football world need to man up and smell the truth.
Ardley, pictured, praised the decision of Crystal Palace boss Tony Pulis to fine Marouane Chamakh and Jerome Thomas for diving during the Premier League clash at Swansea City, adding he would not stand for it from his players.
But Ardley, who oversaw a 0-0 at Fleetwood Town on Saturday to stay 12th in League Two and who welcomes York City to the Cherry Red Records stadium this weekend, also wants referees to play their part in eradicating simulation.
“What Tony [Pulis] has done is fantastic because the last thing you want to do is lose the game to a con artist, which is what divers are,” he said.
“We’re in League Two, and that is the place for men. It’s the place where you have to stand up and be counted.
“I tell my players that I do not want them going down easily, I want them to be strong, and if you go down because you have no other option, then fine, but if not, you need to be more physical than them, take the hit, you stay on your feet and you ride the challenge.”
He added: “The only way to stop it would be retrospectively. If a panel decides a player has dived, then he should be suspended after the event.
“It won’t stop a penalty at the time, but if the player knows he will get found out, suspended and fined, then that is something that will stop it.”
As a former player, Ardley believes he is in the right position to judge whether a player is taking a dive or it is a legitimate foul.
And while referees do not have that hands-on experience, Ardley still wants standards of officiating to be improved.
“I get furious when a referee is sucked into giving a free-kick after a player gets into trouble on the touch line, and he takes a tumble at the first contact from an opponent,” he said.
“I stand there laughing, because refs have not worked out that the player was waiting for the most minimal of touches to go down.
“I can read that, I know what the kid is trying to do, you can see it a mile away. If he goes down, I think, no, you got yourself into a bad situation, you get out of it.”