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Dons boss defends striker

24 November 2012

Post-match reaction after Morecambe

Neal Ardley defended Paul McCallum after the striker was red carded on his debut at Morecambe today.

The 19-year-old on-loan West Ham youngster was sent-off by referee Craig Pawson near the end for an alleged elbow in the face of Nick Fenton.

Speaking to Dons Player, Neal Ardley said there was nothing malicious in the challenge, though he admitted he will review the video evidence before deciding on any possible appeal.

“Paul is not that sort of lad and from what I saw he was looking at the ball the whole time,” said the Wimbledon manager. “But I will have to look at the video before we make any decision on it.”

However, the Dons were 3-1 down by that point and Neal Ardley admitted the performance was not good enough, apart from a 20-minute spell during the second-half.

“The most disappointing thing is that the things we talked about and worked on in training went out of the window,” he added. “One sloppy back pass and we are 1-0 down, we wanted to keep it tight away from home, and then we find ourselves 2-0 down after they scored with a breakaway. That is unacceptable.

“We had a bit of a fightback in the second-half, but that is the tempo we need to play with all the time, not just for 20 minutes. It is all too common a theme. We are not making the right decisions at the right time and we are almost trying to play the game from the sidelines for the lads at the moment. We have to work hard on the training ground to get better. There is never a great deal between the teams in this league, it is always the team that makes mistakes or switches off that loses the game and that is us at the moment. I thought it was naivety and sloppiness from us at times, rather than players not willing to put their hearts into it.”

Neal Ardley confirmed that George Francomb missed the last game of his loan spell from Norwich due to illness and he will now go back to the Canaries. AFC Wimbledon wishes to thank George for his efforts during an impressive three-month loan spell at the club.

See Dons Player later for the video interview with Neal Ardley.

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