Plaudits for Wimbledon's match-winner
Neal Ardley saluted Barry Fuller’s all-action display after his match-winner against Dagenham & Redbridge today.
Fuller was rightly delighted afterwards with his first goal for seven years, but Neal Ardley was more impressed with the tenacious right-back’s overall performance.
Speaking to Dons Player, Neal said: “Barry was excellent today and I think that was his best performance of the season. He kept a tricky winger quiet. Barry ran off him and he did not stop bombing up and down that line. Obviously, he got his goal and I am chuffed for Barry. I’m taking the credit for his goal though. Barry got to the edge of the box and asked me if he could go in and I said ‘yes’. It was a great performance from Barry overall.”
Neal was particularly pleased that his side managed to grind out a 1-0 win, a habit that has been rare for Wimbledon this season.
“We can play better – we did that against Bristol City on Tuesday – but I told the players afterwards that it’s a great habit to win 1-0 and play okay,” added Neal. “For the first 20 minutes we were by far the better team and we looked like we could score more, but when we did score we stopped being as brave in our play. We had a difficult last 15 minutes of the first-half without being really threatened.
“In the second-half we came out and it was case of being 1-0 up and managing the game. We knew our chances would come. We had 14 attempts at goal and had some really good chances that we did not take. You are always open to the opposition getting one at 1-0 even though they did not have an attempt on target all game.
“They had two moments in the second-half. Jamie Cureton went through and you worry because he’s such a good finisher. I’ve watched it back since and he overran it, before running into our goalkeeper. Then Ashley Chambers had their best chance of the game. We’ve played okay and we’ve seen out a home game to win 1-0.”
Dons Player subscribers can watch the full video interview with Neal Ardley later on today and an interview with Barry Fuller will be on our premium site tomorrow.