Neal Ardley saluted the performance of Wimbledon’s returning hero Neil Sullivan after today’s draw against Aldershot.
The 42-year-old goalkeeper, a favourite during 12 years with the Dons from 1988 until 2000, was awarded the man of the match accolade for his first display since joining on loan from Doncaster.
Speaking to Dons Player, Neal Ardley explained the reasons behind Sullivan’s return and the decision to leave Seb Brown out.
“I thought Neil was excellent,” said the Dons boss. “It is slightly worrying for the team performance when the goalkeeper is your best player on the day. But he was commanding, assured, and was everything I expected him to be.
“Seb has been brilliant for this club and the supporters rightly love him. From my point of view, he has been a smashing lad and worked really hard since I took over. But I think that with the way that we are playing and the situation we are in, I had to take him out of the firing line a bit. I will protect Seb and he will carry on working hard.”
Neal Ardley added that the draw against Aldershot showed his side have made progress during his reign as manager.
“I said before I got the job that it is all about results,” he added. “You have to accept bad performances and have a smile on your face as long as you get the result. I am finding that difficult at the moment. We have not played well, but we have not been beaten. It is a game that perhaps six weeks ago we would have fallen to pieces in and been well beaten so I can take positives from it. I thought it would be a scrappy game as they are fighting for their lives and that was the way it turned out. They were excellent in what they did and we struggled to cope with the type of game that it was. There was not much passing and it was more about playing the percentages. They did that better than us, but we hung in there and managed to come away with a point so that is a positive.”
Neal confirmed that Jim Fenlon and Warren Cummings were both not considered fit enough for inclusion in the squad after Friday’s training session and George Francomb was also ruled out through injury.
For the full video interview with Neal visit Dons Player.