Neal Ardley after today's draw at Burton Albion
Neal Ardley has called on everyone at AFC Wimbledon to stick together during the last nine games to ensure a strong finish to 2013/14 after his side’s last-gasp point at Burton Albion today.
Wimbledon’s manager said that the team spirit in his squad was summed up by their late fightback and the celebrations that followed at the Pirelli Stadium.
“I know that the fans have been frustrated lately, particularly with our performances at home, but we are frustrated too,” Neal told Dons Player. “We are really passionate and we care. We are very hard-working, we want to do the right things and have a strong finish to the season. You want to get wins, you never just want to draw games. It has been a tough week and we’ve worked hard on the back of the York game. We know what we have to do to hit the targets that we want.
“All the teams are under pressure from top to bottom in this league, whether that’s going for the play-offs, the top three, or fighting to stay away from the bottom. It’s incredibly tight and the fans and players have to come together as a club and give everything during the last nine games. The players care.
“I know that people say that they just want the players to have a go, but they always have a go. Sometimes they get caught between two stools and are anxious in home games and their confidence is low. If the confidence is a little bit low then everyone should get together. The only way that we’re going to pick everyone up and get the results we need is to stick together. The fans here are brilliant when they’re on song and let's hope we get that in the last nine games.”
Neal added that he felt a draw was the least his side deserved from today’s match against promotion-chasers Burton.
“In the second-half we changed the game plan a bit because we needed to chase the game,” Neal said. “I did not think we did a hell of a lot wrong during the game. In the second-half we missed chances and if we had got a goal earlier we could have gone on and won the game. Against a team fourth in the league on their own patch I thought they did not have many chances. They only really had chances when they broke away on us in the second-half. Other than that we were in the ascendancy, particularly in the second-half. We got a point from the game and I think it would have been an injustice if we’d lost the game.”
Dons Player subscribers can watch the full video interview with Neal Ardley later this weekend, along with the thoughts of goalscorer Darren Jones and Ross Worner.