Wimbledon boss said his side showed spirit
Neal Ardley felt that the margin of defeat at Newport today was harsh on his side and he was encouraged by Wimbledon’s fighting spirit in the second-half.
Though disappointed with the manner of the goals Wimbledon conceded, Neal believed the score line was not a fair reflection of the match.
“I did not think it was a 4-1 game even though the result tells you otherwise,” said Neal. “Though we needed to raise our game a little at half-time, there was not much between the two teams. I thought we had goals in us and we would finish the game strongly and we had chances to score five in the end. Their chances in the second-half came when we were chasing the game and that’s always going to happen.
“The moment that changed the game was straight after half-time. It was our kick-off and Bayo running at their defence, but then there’s a hopeful clearance and it’s in the back of the net seconds later. That’s not good enough and we’ve spoken about that in the changing room. We have to make the opposition work harder to score goals.
Despite defeat, Wimbledon’s goalscorer Bayo Akinfenwa led the line effectively and Neal was full of praise for his performance on the day.
“Bayo takes stick because he’s such a threat,” added Neal. “He’s unplayable when on form and he could have scored another couple of goals. Newport’s goalkeeper made a great double save to deny Bayo. At 3-0 down he was disappointed with the goals we had conceded and I told him to be a leader. He certainly was because he helped out at the back and was trying to make things happen at the other end.
“I’m disappointed for the fans and also because we had been on a good run and our confidence may take a knock. But we never let our heads drop when we went 3-0 down. We showed desire, effort and energy to get back into the game, but we conceded silly goals in the match. Matt Tubbs missed a great chance when it was 3-1 and Ade Azeez had a goal ruled out for a dubious offside. I don’t look at it and think that we are a poor team and we got pummelled. We chased the game and conceded rubbish goals.”
The full video interview with Neal Ardley will appear on Dons Player tonight.