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Neal: we lacked quality

29 March 2014

Wimbledon manager's verdict after Mansfield defeat

Neal Ardley was very disappointed by the manner of Wimbledon’s defeat at the hands of Mansfield today and he pointed to a lack of quality in attack.

The Wimbledon manager refused to criticise Mansfield’s robust approach that left both Darren Jones and George Francomb with head injuries and he said that the Dons were fully prepared for such a tough battle.

“It is real disappointment, but the lads had a go and they battled hard,” said Neal. “We knew it was going to be physical and they would go route one. They made it hard, but we lacked quality when we did get in the right areas. We made the wrong decisions. George Francomb had a great chance early in the second-half and if anyone should be full of confidence it should be him. But that’s the story of the day. We were chasing the game, but I don’t remember them looking like troubling us. It’s one rubbish goal and it goes right under the arms of the goalkeeper.

“We have to take it on the chin. It was a horrible game on a bobbly pitch against a team that were never going to play through midfield at all. They were big and strong and credit to them. I’m not going to say anything against them. They got an early goal and they held on for the rest of the game. I thought we could have got one back but we lacked quality in the final third. It was disappointing, but the boys had a right go. It was a reasonably even game, but they were bigger and stronger than us.”

Kwesi Appiah produced an encouraging debut just two days after signing on loan from Crystal Palace and Neal expects him to get better in the coming matches.

“Kwesi looked a threat at times,” added Neal. “He needs a bit of match sharpness because he had a couple of weeks at Palace out with a niggle. Kwesi is coming back from that and hopefully he will get better with games and help take us where we want to go.”

The full video interview with Neal Ardley will appear on Dons Player later this weekend.

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