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The boss has lifted spirits

25 January 2013

Neil Sullivan senses renewed optimism to survive

Neil Sullivan says that being disappointed with a point against the League 2 leaders is a measure of the improvement made by AFC Wimbledon in recent weeks.

Wimbledon may be still in the relegation zone, but the fighting qualities required to survive this season were shown in abundance last night as the Dons held Port Vale to a 2-2 draw.

And 42-year-old Wimbledon favourite Sullivan is experienced enough to recognise that manager Neal Ardley has instilled a spirit among the players that will serve the club well in the coming weeks.

Speaking to Rob Cornell on Dons Player, Sullivan said: “Arguably we should have beaten Port Vale. If you look at the manner of the goals that we conceded, then we can look back and be disappointed. I guess that shows how far that we have come though recently. We have to look at the positives and the way that the lads dug in. All the players tried really hard and you can tell there is a good spirit around the place. Everyone is pushing together and trying to get away from the bottom of the table. The gaffer came up with a way of playing and for 43 minutes it worked perfectly.

“We played really well in the first-half and fully deserved to be 2-0 up. They nicked one just before half-time, but we still fancied our chances because we were playing well. To lose the lead the way we did was disappointing and for the last 15 minutes they bombed the ball in the box, but we displayed a lot of resilience at the end.”

The on-loan Doncaster Rovers goalkeeper, who admitted he saw Vale’s first goal from Daniel Jones too late to react, added that Wimbledon must build on their creditable display with a busy spell of fixtures coming up.

“The first goal was hit from a long way out, but he has struck it well,” admitted Sullivan. “It came through a few bodies and on other occasions it would hit someone on the way or I would have got a good look at it to do something about it. I cannot work out whether it is a good point or a bad one as we were playing against the league leaders, but we were 2-0 up.

“We have to move on now though. We have a break until the Burton game, which is good. It gives us all time to recover as we have a busy month coming up in February.”

  to subscribe.Dons Player offerDons Player subscribers can now view the full video interview with Neil Sullivan, along with Neal Ardley’s post-match thoughts, and highlights from the Port Vale match on our premium site. For the rest of this month, supporters can take advantage of a Dons Player January sale. This offers a subscription for just £18.99 until 18 August, 2013. With exclusive interviews, WDON commentary of every game, and match highlights, you can get the latest AFC Wimbledon news first. Click on 

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