Harry Pell has joined Grimsby Town on loan to prove his worth to AFC Wimbledon boss Neal Ardley.

The 24-year-old has struggled to get a foot-hold in the new-look Dons midfield this season, playing a bit-part role from the bench.

When his chance to impress did come in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy clash against Southend in September, it lasted only 20 minutes before he was sent off.

After eight games in the wilderness, Pell had regained his place on the bench, but it is game-time he so desperately wants, and with it the chance to prove a few things.

In came the Mariners, who are pushing for promotion out of the Vanarama Conference Premier, and Pell has moved north on a one-month loan deal.

He said: “I’ve been banging on the gaffer’s door for a while and telling him about my frustrations about not playing.

“I know I am dropping down a level, and I would like to think of myself as a Football League player, that’s what I want to be and that is what I am.

Happer times: Harry Pell enjoys his goal in last season's 3-2 win over Scunthorpe United

“But you have to understand what it was like for me – I was so frustrated – I had my chance in the Johnstone’s Paint match and got sent off.

“It was very difficult and before you know it, I was out of the squad. I was so frustrated and it took its toll on me.”

He added: “I thought I was making steady progress on the training pitch. I have been working as hard as I could and I was starting to get back into the fold, and then this opportunity to join Grimsby came about.

For the latest news out of AFC Wimbledon, follow @ylgsport

“Grimsby, being a big club, suited me because I wanted to join a big club going for promotion.

“I said to the gaffer: ‘Please can you be straight with me. How do you feel about me going to Grimsby?’ “He said: ‘I can’t look into a crystal ball – it could be two weeks before you’re back, or a month. I’ll leave the decision down to you’.

“There was no pressure on me to go. The gaffer has been very good to me in how we’ve dealt with this situation.

“But I have never been someone to hang around a club if I am not playing. I said to the gaffer, let me prove my point, I just want to play games.”

Pell’s frustrations were also affecting his family life, and while being locked away in a hotel room in Grimsby is not ideal, having recently become a father, it has its advantages.

Start: Harry Pell on his AFC Wimbledon debut in February 2012 against Burton Albion

“People outside football don’t fully understand that when you’re a professional and football is your life, it is so hard to be happy when you are not playing,” he said.

“I have no family in Grimsby, and when I said to my missus about going there, we both knew it was not ideal but she totally understood.

“I have been a bit of a nightmare since I’ve not been in the team – she said: ‘Go and do what you need to do’.”

He added: “My little girl is four months old and so that is another reason why it is not ideal, but these are the sacrifices I have to make for my football and my job.

“I wanted to be locked away in a hotel room, get my head totally on football, and I want to prove a few points.”

While Pell is missing his young family, he joked: “Olivia is our first child, and so it has been a tough four months, I won’t lie.

“And now here I am, stuck in a hotel room in the middle of Grimsby and I have no idea where I am, but there is peace and quiet, and I am absolutely loving it.”