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Neal on Pools defeat

23 August 2014

The manager's post-match reaction

Neal Ardley said it was important not to be too critical of his team’s performance after they squandered a half-time lead against Hartlepool today.

Wimbledon could have been out of sight by half-time after creating plenty of chances to build on Matt Tubbs’ opener, but it was a completely different story in the second-half.

Speaking to Dons Player, Neal Ardley said: “I am going to take the disappointment because it was another home game against a team down there and that was something we could not see through last season. I thought this group would be able to turn that on its head and at half-time we were on the way to doing that. When you look back on it we could have scored four or five goals today. We’ve got a group of good players who will score goals, but they didn’t today and we cannot use that as an excuse.

“I don’t think we should be too hard on the starting 11 who have started off the season. There were some performances not up to their usual standards today and I’m not going to put it down to anything other than an off day. I don’t think we should slaughter the players for that. We did not see through a game that we should. We had the worst possible start to the second-half because we did not do the right things from the kick-off.”

The Wimbledon manager was pleased with the contributions of substitutes Harry Pell and Kevin Sainte-Luce after their second-half introductions.

“Not enough players led by example when we had our difficult spell in the second-half,” added Neal. “For 25 minutes they had a higher tempo and more energy than us and that was inexcusable. Harry came on and gave us more legs in midfield and I thought Kevin was outstanding when he came on. He offered real drive and energy and created chances. One thing I want is for our substitutes to be really at it when they come on and almost make me question my team selection. That has not really been the case so far.”

Dons Player subscribers can now watch the full video interview with Neal Ardley on our premium channel.

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