Post-match reaction from Neal
Match-winner Ade Azeez has received praise from Neal Ardley for responding well to a challenge laid down to him at the end of 2014/15.
Following a late winner from Azeez against Exeter, Neal said that the 21-year-old had been told to up his game.
Speaking to Dons Player, Neal Ardley said: “The boys all love Ade because he puts his head down and works hard. In his end of season review I gave him a little bit of a blast and I think he was shocked. He had a bit of an Under-21 mentality at times last season. Ade came back in for the first two weeks of pre-season and he was outstanding. He was running people ragged and he seemed very aggressive. It appeared that the penny had dropped, but then he got a niggling injury. That is why he only had a few spells on as a substitute.
“When Ade has come on as a substitute he has done really well and he scored two in midweek for the Under-21s. The boys are right behind him, he just needs confidence. We will try and give him that. We are delighted for him to get his goal today.”
Though Neal admitted that the Dons were far from at their best today, he was pleased with his side’s resilience.
“I said in my pre-match comments that Exeter move the ball around well, but I cannot remember James Shea having too much to do today,” Neal said. “We did that part right after they got their goal. As the game wore on, we saw it out well. We took the lead after a brilliant cross and a brilliant finish and we never really let them have a chance. That was pleasing. Sometimes you have to learn how to see a game out. I would class us as average today. We were not flowing or exciting at times, but we have done the job.
“It is a bit of a monkey off our backs (to get a home win). We had played very well in spells in the previous two home games, but we got punished for silly things and came away with nothing. It was more a case of us grinding out a performance today.”
Full post-match reaction from Neal is now on Dons Player.