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Neal: we lacked intensity

13 July 2014

Dons manager on Margate defeat

Neal Ardley said his side got what they deserved at Margate yesterday after showing a lack of intensity in their performance and they must improve considerably with Chelsea up next.

Speaking to Dons Player, Neal, who is pictured with Terry Brown above (photograph by Paul Willatts), refused to make any excuses and was disappointed by the manner of the 3-0 defeat.

Matt Tubbs has great movement and he’s always anticipating where the ball might drop for him. He has great experience, but there’s nothing more I’m going to learn about him from one game that I didn’t already know. “It’s not just about fitness because we wanted to win the game and we did not come here just to have a little run-out,” said Neal. “You want your pre-season games to be competitive and in the second-half there were lots of positives. We looked a threat and the players raised their levels because of the first-half.

“All-round we have to be better and we know that. We conceded sloppy goals and two of them were car crashes. We have to make sure we cut that out of our game in terms of our decision making. We have to work harder and play with more intensity and energy. The first 55 minutes was particularly poor. They out-ran us, out-thought us and anticipated a lot of the second balls. We kept letting them play into the middle even though we knew they were going to play a diamond formation.”

Neal added that it’s important his players have a good week in training to prepare for a big challenge against Premier League Chelsea next Saturday.

“We’re moving into intense work now and it’s mainly been endurance-based training for the first two weeks,” Neal said. “We have to make sure that we raise our levels hugely for next week otherwise we will not put in a very good performance. It will be a great game for the club against Chelsea, but I will not be looking forward to it if we play like we did for an hour today. Hopefully, if we can have a good week in training and take our intense work to the first level then we will put in a better performance.

“We were expected to win today, but we were well beaten. Next week we are not expected to win and maybe we can turn that around, which is what we will be looking to do.”

The full interview with Neal Ardley is now on Dons Player.

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