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Neal's Dagenham verdict

23 February 2013

Boss praises his side's character

Neal Ardley has saluted his players for their positive reaction since the Chesterfield defeat after they made it seven points out of nine with victory at Dagenham & Redbridge today.

in League 2 today, but Wimbledon’s manager was keen to highlight the overall team performance and the spirit his squad have shown in recent weeks.stA dramatic late winner from substitute Kevin Sainte-Luce moved the Dons up to 21

I thought that we thoroughly deserved the win today. “I fancied us to win today,” he said. “We have talked about momentum and I have seen it in the eyes of the players that they now have that drive and belief. Since the Chesterfield match we have worked hard to instil that in the players.

“Jon Meades was in agony with his foot, but he was excellent for 55 minutes and Mat Mitchel-King came on and played like a right-back. I thought that Pim Balkestein and Alan Bennett were excellent at the back and Harry Pell and Sammy Moore played brilliant in midfield. But it was a great team performance. If you look at the bench today we had Mat and Warren Cummings shouting instructions from the bench and willing the players on. Everyone was celebrating when we scored. That is the spirit we have now. Everyone is pushing in the right direction, but we still need five more wins.”

The winner at Victoria Road came in spectacular style from Sainte-Luce and Neal Ardley believes the French winger is a very gifted player.

“It was a fantastic strike and Kevin has been brilliant since he came in – he deserved that,” added the Wimbledon manager. “I have told people that he will frustrate the life out of you, but he has unbelievable ability. We looked at it at about 60 minutes and felt that we needed more pace in attack. Jesse Darko was a threat when he came on in getting behind their defence. Jesse and Kevin both give us a different option.”

Neal Ardley also thanked Wimbledon’s 873 travelling fans for their tremendous support on the day.

“They were fantastic,” he added. “When I first came out before the game it was unbelievable and it was great that we gave them a win to reward them for their support.”

Dons Player subscribers can watch the full video interview with Neal Ardley on our premium site later today.



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