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Neal: key qualities lacking

25 April 2015

Manager's post-match reaction after Bury

Neal Ardley said that today’s defeat at Bury reiterated the qualities AFC Wimbledon need to add if they are to become promotion contenders next season.

Yet again, the Dons contributed so much to a game of football, but three points eluded them and Neal is determined to ensure that such a scenario does not become a regular occurrence in the next campaign.

Speaking during an interview for Dons Player, Neal said: “We were the better team by far in the first half against a very good team with a big budget and we should have come in at half-time in the lead. Instead, we came in 1-0 down because we never did our jobs in our own box from a corner. It was the same against Northampton Town and it has happened too many times. Then we conceded a silly goal and we are chasing the game at 2-0 down.

“We do not have enough of the key ingredients to win matches. We do not have enough of an edge or that nastiness you need. I have known that for a while and I have tried to add that. We have lost players with those qualities and I have to take responsibility. I have got to add that determination and grit and put together a team capable of being in the promotion race next season. I know what we are missing and I will work incredibly hard in the summer to add those players and take us forward.

“I am disappointed for the fans. They came to a game when there was nothing on it and the away fans always give us magnificent support. I am disappointed because I want to send them home happy, even if that’s with a scrappy 1-0 win. The team I have put together do not know how to do that and I have to take responsibility. I will work my socks off to put together a team capable of promotion next season and that will always be what I am trying to achieve.”

Neal added that there is not enough desire among his players to score goals and that has cost his side in recent weeks.

“It was the same old Wimbledon,” added Neal. “We were the better team for long spells, particularly in the first hour. But we came in 1-0 down at half time against Dagenham after being the better team and we drew 0-0 against Wycombe and Oxford, even though we were the better side. Not enough players have the know-how to score goals at this level. There are not enough players who want to score goals. But the most disappointing thing apart from the result today was our response after we went 2-0 down. There was no fight and not enough energy and drive.”

The full interview with Neal Ardley will be on Dons Player later on.

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