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Neal: we stick together

30 August 2014

Dons manager on Stevenage defeat

Neal Ardley said it’s important that everyone at AFC Wimbledon sticks together in an effort to turn around his side’s poor home form.

Speaking to Dons Player after a loss to Stevenage that made it two successive home defeats, Neal said the management team and his players must accept collective responsibility.

“Maybe I did not show enough patience at the start of the second-half at 1-1 because I tried to push more players into forward areas,” said Neal. “I take my share of responsibility because we chased the game early in the second-half, but the players have to be brave enough to take responsibility on the pitch too. As a group we need to come together and not point fingers at each other. We need to work together on what we’re not doing right.

“It was another tough afternoon and it’s been a tough two weeks since our good start to the season. But I don’t think we should be saying that we have a crisis going on. The management team and the players need to regroup. We have the JPT match coming up, which hinders your training week a bit, and we will have to take a look at the players who we need to freshen up.”

Neal confirmed that George Francomb missed the game due to a toe injury, but he refused to make that an excuse for defeat.

“George was fine yesterday in training, but he’s needed an injection to his toe for a while and he felt it in the warm-up,” Neal added. “We had to make a call and Kevin Sainte-Luce came in. They are two different type of players because George can play in midfield but Kevin is more of a winger. But that was not the reason for defeat. We became disjointed when we tried to go on the front foot and really go for it.

“I did not feel comfortable with it in the first-half. We were quite open in midfield when we had two wingers on the pitch. I felt the midfield two struggled to get to grips with it. We could not do anything about their second goal. I’ve seen it on the video and it was a fluke. We became more disjointed after that and it’s becoming a common theme at home now. I’m desperate to give the fans what they want at home, but maybe we went for it too early.”

Dons Player subscribers can watch Neal Ardley’s full post-match reaction later on today and an interview with Adam Barrett will follow tomorrow.

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