Wimbledon manager's verdict on cup exit
Neal Ardley was disappointed that his side failed to put on a show for Wimbledon’s travelling support, but he felt there were positives to take from aspects of their performance at Milton Keynes.
Speaking to Dons Player, Neal Ardley said: “It was disappointing, but the best team won. I think we are a better team than we were two years ago. We have more attacking players and more attacking threat, but at times you are going to get opened up by a good team. I thought Bayo Akinfenwa was immense. He’s not just a battering ram. One reverse pass that he played to put Matt Tubbs through was sublime and the skill he showed to help win the penalty was brilliant.
“There were lots of positives, but we have to dust ourselves down now. This was always going to be a free shot to put big smiles on the faces of our fans. We desperately wanted to do that and that was what our team talk was all about, but we came up against a team who played well on the night.”
Neal added that his side did not have enough intensity in their play during the first-half of the Capital One Cup tie.
“I thought that in the first-half we were too tentative and too respectful even though we were only 1-0 down at half-time,” Neal said. “It was a bit of a training pitch match at times, they were unopposed at times and we were not winning the ball back.
“I asked for a bit more intensity in the second-half and I got it. Their second and third goals came when we were chasing the game and they came from bad mistakes. I would not want to crucify Alan Bennett though because I thought he was immense all game.”
Neal said that Jack Smith appears to have tweaked his medial knee ligaments, but it is too early to assess how long he could be out for after the left-back was stretchered off early on.
The full video interview with Neal Ardley is now on Dons Player.