Post-match reaction from Neal Ardley
Neal Ardley said that preparation on the training ground was the key to upsetting League 2 leaders Wycombe and he was delighted to reward Wimbledon’s fans for their brilliant support.
The Dons were roared onto victory at Adams Park by 1,035 travelling fans – including former manager Terry Brown – and Neal Ardley was proud to lead AFC Wimbledon into the FA Cup third round.
“Words cannot explain it fully,” Neal told Dons Player. “How good were the fans? They gave me goose bumps because they sang and cheered everything that we did. I’m so glad that we’ve got into the third round for them and hopefully we’ll now have something good to look forward to in the next round. We’ve worked so hard this week with that extra day of training and we absolutely grilled the boys every single day about how this game was going to go. The boys were crying out for five-a-side by Saturday morning!
“They were asking loads of questions because it was 100 miles per hour and they wanted to settle down and play football, but that was the response I wanted because I wanted the game to be easier than training. We did everything that we had worked on in training and the energy that the players put into the game was great.
“Having played Wycombe, we had experience of what they are good at and we did our homework. We decided on a shape that would give us the best chance and we were brave because we played with three forwards. We trained with a high intensity all week to get ready for this game and I think that is the difference from the last game here. We prepared unbelievably well for the game and the boys have carried out the plan.”
Centre-back Jake Goodman came in for his debut after being given the green light to play by his club Millwall and Neal saluted his contribution.
“I thought Jake was immense,” added Neal. “He won bundles in the air and at the end he had cramp and could barely jump. On one hand the game was always going to be ideal for him because it was going to be high-tempo and they were going to throw a lot of balls forward, but it was also brave to throw him in for such an important match. He should be proud of his debut.”
Dons Player subscribers can watch Neal Ardley’s full-post match reaction later on and an interview with Adam Barrett will follow tomorrow.