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Neal on Southend defeat

20 November 2012

Dons boss angered by performance

Neal Ardley admitted his side’s performance was simply unacceptable after tonight’s heavy defeat at the hands of Southend United.

An encouraging first-half from the Dons gave way to a second-half display that angered Neal Ardley as Wimbledon reverted to the dark days of earlier this season in failing to defend from set-pieces.

In his post-match press conference, the Wimbledon manager said: “For the first 35-40 minutes everything we talked about beforehand we were doing. The two centre-backs were dominant, the front four needed to give us more, but we were on top. But again, it is an accident waiting to happen for us and they score with their first shot at goal. It was a great finish, but it meant we were chasing the game. What happened in the second-half was unacceptable. We worked hard yesterday on defending from set-pieces. We talked about how their centre-backs would be a threat from set-pieces and how we needed to mark them well and then that happens. As a manager, I take the rap for that.”

Neal refused to use Wimbledon’s growing injury list as an excuse with midfielder Steven Gregory having also been ruled out for tonight’s game.

“I am not going to hide behind the injuries,” he added. “We have 10 on the treatment table and you look at the bench and there are young players who should not be thrown into a dogfight. But the performance was not good enough and too many players were worrying about themselves. We are working behind the scenes to see if we can do anything, but we already have six loan players so it is difficult to do too much at the moment.”

the video interview with Neal Ardley. Visit Dons Player to view

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