Under-21s coach hails second-half display
Alan Reeves saluted his side’s second-half reaction after Wimbledon fought back to earn a point at Leyton Orient.
Wimbledon were heading to defeat after a first-half that saw them hand the initiative to Orient, but it was a different story after the break and they rallied to secure a draw from their opening Final Third Development League match.
Speaking to Rob Cornell on Dons Player, Alan said: “I’ve told the boys how pleased I was with the second-half. We worked our socks off, had loads of chances, and they did not really threaten us after half-time. When we equalised they settled for the draw more than us. It was the first league game for the Under-21 lads. We made mistakes, but I’m not going to name those players who made errors and we’ve had a conversation about it in the dressing room.
“If you make a mistake, then what is your reaction? Their reaction after our chat at half-time was different class and that’s the important thing. I’ve said to the players that they should forget about mistakes – I’ve certainly done that – and we were excellent in the second-half.”
Alan Reeves selected Will Nightingale as captain, a proud honour for a player who has been with Wimbledon since the age of nine. Another Dons academy product Tom Beere was excellent on the day and he is expected to build on his first-team breakthrough by Alan Reeves.
“I decided to give Will the captaincy because I wanted a defender to have it and he is a commanding figure,” added Alan. “In the second-half I thought he was outstanding. I’ve told Will that he is a defender and anything on top of his defensive duties is a bonus. My aim for the first few months of the season with Will is to get him to head it and tackle. I want him to keep it simple.
“In the second-half today they had three in midfield against our two and trialist David Fitzpatrick did well alongside Tom. But Tom looks a level above this at the moment. He looks comfortable on the ball and does not appear to look under pressure when he has it. Tom scored a goal, set-up one and if we had any Champagne we would give him it!”
Dons Player subscribers can now watch the full video interview with Alan Reeves, along with Andy Frampton on his return. An interview with Will Nightingale will follow tomorrow.