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Neal: we lacked bravery

18 October 2014

Dons boss on Wycombe defeat

Neal Ardley refused to be too harsh on his Wimbledon side after they came up short at League 2 leaders Wycombe Wanderers today.

The Wimbledon manager accepted that Wycombe fully deserved their 2-0 win after Gareth Ainsworth’s men became only the second side this season to stop the Dons from scoring.

Speaking to Dons Player, Neal Ardley said: “We were well and truly beaten and they are top of the league for a reason. They never let us settle with their energy and high tempo. In the first-half we did not string any passes together at all. We got caught up in the game and made it into a scrap.

“We defended well for 45 minutes, but then we switched off and it was poor. We started chasing the game, but their back four were strong. They did their homework on us and they kept Bayo and Tubbs quiet, but they probably did that because our quality up into them was poor. We did not show enough bravery to get on the ball.

“I’m not criticising our players by any stretch of the imagination. I said to the boys afterwards that I’m not going to shout at them. We just need to take a lot from this game and it’s all about how we bounce back from this. We're in a league that can be tough and we need to get the next game right. Before you know it, you can go a few games without winning. We got beat by a good Wycombe team today.”

Neal added that he hopes his side can put on a better performance for the fans after their excellent support at Adams Park.

“We enjoyed last week, but I never thought that we were Real Madrid after it,” said Neal. “You have to enjoy the good times, but after today I’m not thinking that we are poor. We need to learn from it and when things are tough more than just the front two have to take responsibility with the quality of their play. Wycombe did a good job on us and stopped us doing what we’re good at.

“I’m disappointed for the fans because they travelled in their numbers and they did not turn on their team. They did not moan and groan when things were not going well. I can’t ask for any more than that because we did not give them anything to shout about. We want to try and make sure we do better on Tuesday against Plymouth.”

Neal Ardley confirmed afterwards that Tom Beere was not included in today’s squad due to a hamstring injury, though it is not thought to be serious.

Dons Player subscribers can watch the full video interview with Neal Ardley later on tonight.

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