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Neal praises battling Dons

23 March 2013

The boss reveals preparations were far from smooth

Neal Ardley revealed that his players bounced back from a below-par training session yesterday to ease their relegation fears against Morecambe today.

suffering from an illness overnight that ruled him out today.Sammy Moore, the Wimbledon manager said his squad’s preparations had gone less than smoothly and the situation was not helped by Dons PlayerSpeaking to

Neal Ardley said: “Yesterday I was really concerned that the players looked mentally and physically tired in training. I called a halt to training early yesterday and afterwards I was like a bear with a sore head. In the first 30 minutes today we played like we had trained yesterday and I was thinking that it would be good to go in at half-time at 0-0. But I thought that we dug in and held on, even though we were not playing well. There was a fear about us giving the ball away, but fair play to Morecambe as they passed the ball well and were by far the best side in the first half hour.

“Gary’s cross for the first goal was fantastic, moments like that change games, and he deserves a lot of credit for that. I did not think it should have been a free-kick to us initially for the second goal, but it was handball after that. We got that little bit of luck there. But we came in at half-time and had a conversation about how we were going to play the second-half tactically. I thought in the second-half that we produced a thoroughly professional second-half performance.”

for his impressive comeback appearance. The experienced centre-back had not played since 12 January against Wycombe, but it certainly did not show against Morecambe.Will Antwi was substituted for tactical reasons at half-time, praised Kevin Sainte-LuceThe Wimbledon manager, who said that goalscorer

mastered it during the second-half.”Alan Bennett“He has probably had nine weeks out and just three days of football training in total,” added Neal. “But he has done a lot of work on his fitness and as soon as we knew we were considering him he came straight into the office yesterday and said ‘I am alright to play and put me in’. We could not have asked for any more from him as he played a full 90 minutes despite being out on a tough pitch. I thought that Will and

loan spell from Cardiff will be extended.Jesse Darko’s loan, which was up after today’s game, is unlikely to be extended as he is struggling with a foot injury. However, Brennan Dickenson’sNeal Ardley said afterwards that

Dons Player subscribers can watch the full video interview with Neal Ardley on our premium site and the thoughts of Will Antwi on his return tomorrow.

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