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Neal praises battling Dons

25 January 2014

Post-match reaction from the Wimbledon manager

Neal Ardley saluted the character of his players after they came from behind to beat Exeter City and secure their first home win for over two months.

Neal accepted that Wimbledon were second best during the first-half, but he praised his side for turning it around and grinding out a win.

Speaking to Dons Player, Neal Ardley said: “As a team we were all over the shop in the first-half. It was nothing to do with the shape or our system and we were just losing a lot of battles. It was credit to Exeter because they were winning most of the second balls and headers at both ends. No one was happy at half-time and there were a few choice words said among the players before I got into the dressing room. It was my job to give them a bit of a game plan for the second-half. That was to play our football in their half and grind it out.

“We said that if we don’t play particularly well, but we win 2-1 then we will take that and it will be a good start to a tough week. That is what we got so I cannot ask for any more. It was great character. We were 1-0 down, playing in horrendous conditions, and with the wind in our faces during the second-half. But we dug in and did what we needed to do to pick up three points. Did we play well? Not particularly, but we came away with smiles on our faces and ready to move onto the next game.”

Neal added that he was particularly impressed with his front pairing of Charlie Wyke and Jack Midson as they were pivotal to victory on the day.

“I am pleased that Jack scored in open play and the front two worked very hard,” said Neal. “Charlie set-up the first goal and Jack has scored so that’s really pleasing. Charlie did brilliantly to set-up Luke Moore’s goal.

“After 20 minutes of the second-half I felt that Exeter were getting into wide areas so we changed it and that worked well. Kevin Sainte-Luce came on and he did exceptionally well.”

Dons Player subscribers can now watch the full video interview with Neal Ardley and we will feature interviews with Jack Midson and Alan Bennett on our premium site tomorrow.


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