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Neal upbeat after draw

22 October 2014

Manager praises his side's commitment

Neal Ardley said he could not fault his side for effort after Wimbledon failed to break down a resolute Plymouth side at home.

Despite having the better chances, Wimbledon had to settle for a creditable 0-0 draw against a form team currently lying in the play-off positions.

Speaking to Dons Player, Neal Ardley said: “I thought it was a full-blooded League 2 game and both teams gave it their all. You could see why they had not conceded many goals because they were a big, strong team. They had a few half chances, but we had a glorious one just before half-time. Bayo did brilliantly for it by sliding George Francomb in and if we had gone in at half-time 1-0 up it could have changed the game.

“I cannot fault my players. They defended resolutely, scrapped and fought hard. They tried their hardest to get crosses in and break Plymouth down. Maybe it may be one of those draws that we look back on and say it was a decent point against a good team. I don’t think anyone could have been any worse than at Wycombe. We asked the boys to give us everything and they did that. For a 0-0 it was quite a decent end to end game.”

It was a rare occasion tonight when the Wimbledon manager chose not to make any substitutions and he explained why he kept the same 11 for the full 90 minutes.

“Sometimes it takes a substitute five minutes to get into the game,” added Neal. “Bayo was causing them problems and Matt Tubbs was full of energy. Everyone was doing their jobs really well and I thought we had a chance of nicking a win, but I also did not want to lose it by bringing on a substitute who was not ready.

“The fans could see a team having a real go. George Francomb put in about 15 crosses in the first-half and they put a stop on that in the second-half. We were constantly trying to get down the sides with our full-backs bombing on, particularly Jack Smith. We just lacked a bit of quality in the final third, but it was against one of the meanest sides in the league.”

A video interview with Neal Ardley is on Dons Player and an interview with Adam Barrett will feature later on today.

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