Post-match reaction from Wimbledon manager
Neal Ardley was very pleased that his players finally delivered a home performance to savour after Wimbledon brushed aside Burton Albion at the Cherry Red Records Stadium.
Wimbledon’s manager demanded more from his players in the build-up to the visit of previously unbeaten Burton – and they answered his call emphatically.
Speaking to Dons Player, Neal Ardley said: “We were all a bit flat after Saturday because we felt that we put in a resilient performance at Accrington and a point would have been a decent result. We had to pick everyone up and get going again. Yesterday in training we had a chat with a few little groups and demanded a bit more in certain areas. Tonight we delivered in all parts and it was very pleasing.
“It hurts me when we disappoint 3,000-4,000 people at home and the last thing I said to the players before they went out tonight was that actions speak louder than words. We had done a lot of talking, but we knew what we expected of each other and the players went out and delivered. But we have to master how we win games when we are not free-flowing and playing well. We played really well tonight, but if we don’t have the same qualities on Saturday will we win the game?
Neal Ardley again singled out 17-year-old Ben Harrison for special praise after his impressive performance, but he warned that Wimbledon must be careful with the full-back’s development.
“Ben was fantastic,” added Neal. “It was an easy decision to make on Saturday because Callum Kennedy was not well. Tonight was harder because Lucas Akins has been causing a lot of problems for full-backs, but I took a brave decision and decided that Ben warranted playing in the team. What we have to do now is make sure we look after him. We must not flog him and we need to nurture Ben. Hopefully, Ben and Tom Beere will be good footballers for the future of this football club.”
Dons Player subscribers can watch the full video interview with Neal Ardley on our premium channel and an interview with two-goal hero Bayo Akinfenwa will follow later on today.