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Neal's Mansfield verdict

14 December 2013

Dons boss on a battling draw

 praised his side’s resilience after a Wimbledon team weakened by injuries survived a second-half “bombardment” from Mansfield.Neal Ardley

suspended, the Dons had less armoury to stand up to a physical Mansfield side.Sammy Moore on the treatment table after suffering an ankle injury in training on Friday and Harry Pell joining Alan BennettWith captain

, Neal Ardley said: “I am not going to dress it up that we played well. It was a horrible, tough game. I thought that first-half when we were brave enough to pass the ball, which we had been working on all week, we created some half chances. But in the second-half they pressed us high and they did not let us play out from the back. It made it difficult because they were bigger than us all over the pitch. Paul Cox thought that he could expose our weaknesses because we were a bit makeshift and they bombarded us with long balls.Dons PlayerSpeaking to

“Ross made three great saves though, which was really pleasing, and we did not buckle. We have kept a clean sheet and that was a positive after a difficult second-half. We did not play well, but we stayed resilient. We have a group of boys who will give everything. They need a bit of guidance and at half-time I wanted them to be braver in the way that they passed the ball, but 10 minutes into the second-half I could tell that they were not going to let us do that.”

Neal added that Alan Bennett’s ankle injury will be assessed next week by the medical team.

today. We wanted to play better and get three points, but it was a tough second-half and it’s a tough league.”Andy Frampton was excellent alongside Barry Fuller“Alan rolled his ankle on Thursday when we were working on set-pieces and it swelled up on Friday morning,” he said. “We will assess that next week. I thought that

Dons Player subscribers can now watch the full video interview with Neal Ardley on our premium site and we will feature the thoughts of Andy Frampton tomorrow.

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