Post-match reaction from the manager
Neal Ardley said that his side’s defending was “inexcusable” after Wimbledon were taken apart by Dagenham today.
Though the Wimbledon manager was pleased with a first-half performance that had Dagenham on the back foot, it was a different story after the break with Jamie Cureton helping himself to a hat-trick.
Speaking during an interview for Dons Player, Neal Ardley said: “We wanted to go with an attacking formation that might spark one of those runs that get you into the play-offs. It was a gamble, but I am not going to apologise for that. We wanted to give the fans something to shout about at the end of the season and to stay in touch. In the first-half we did everything that we had worked upon and we were excellent, but we were not clinical or ruthless enough and that probably summed up our season.
“They never really created a lot in the second half, but the second goal killed us. We work hard on set pieces, but you hope the players do their jobs properly and they didn’t today. What happened after that was inexcusable. I can only apologise to the fans for that, but we had to throw caution to the wind. They had only one player up front, but they looked like getting in all the time. You expect players to defend better than that. It was poor decision making.”
Neal added that his squad had fallen short in their pursuit of a play-off place and he is determined to engineer further progress next season.
“You end up in the league where you deserve to be and at the moment we are not good enough to be in the play-offs,” Neal said. “Today showed that and losing a two-goal lead against Northampton on Friday. There has to be a lot more grind and we have to be able to see out games when we are not playing well. Today, we were playing well and found ourselves 1-0 down. That sums us up.
“We have to finish the season as strong as we can. We will have to add a little bit to our squad in the summer and do our best to add those qualities. If we can get that then hopefully we can progress.”
The full interview with Neal Ardley can now be viewed on Dons Player.