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Neal: I can't fault players

28 September 2013

Dons "gutted" after late defeat today

said there was no need to criticise his players after Wimbledon succumbed to a last-gasp defeat at Cheltenham Town today.Neal Ardley 

The Dons boss was far from downhearted about the 1-0 defeat at Whaddon Road that came after substitute Jamie Cureton’s strike in the final minute of injury-time.

. “For 25 minutes in the first-half we played some good stuff and we looked like a team full of confidence. Naturally away from home the opposition will always have spells and it looked like we had got through that. A minute before their goal I was thinking that my response would have been that we had produced a hard-working and professional performance. Should I change my mind on that because we have conceded in the last minute? It is hard because I do not think I should criticise the players.Dons Player“I thought that the back five were excellent for the majority of the match and the team worked incredibly hard,” Neal told

“They don’t need me to tell them anything in there because they are gutted. It is now a case of the staff and I picking them up off the floor and us bouncing back, something we have done so far this season. We need to come back from this and produce good performances and pick up points.”

Neal added that referee Darren Drysdale deserved credit for consulting with his assistants and going back on his initial decision to award a penalty to Cheltenham late on.

“I would have been feeling extremely aggrieved if that had been given,” Neal said. “I think it was hard to tell what was going on in the box at that time. I give credit to the referee for consulting his assistants and changing his mind. I thought that was very brave because not many referees do that and I would have thought that whether we had lost, drawn or won.”

 Dons Player subscribers can watch the video interview with Neal Ardley later this weekend, along with the thoughts of Barry Fuller on the defeat. 

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