Cardiff display restores belief that results will come
Neal Ardley believes his players can take plenty of confidence from pushing a Championship side all the way when they get back to battling for points in League 2.
During an interview for Dons Player, Neal said he was quick to tell his players afterwards that they can achieve things if they maintain belief.
“It was not to be, but I told the boys afterwards to stick with it and keep believing in each other,” said Neal. “When we get on a run I think we will be very hard to beat. I felt that if we kept believing we would get one or two opportunities and we did. We played against a very good team. It was not a weakened team, we were up against a side that will grace the Championship, and we matched them.
“I am disappointed because I hate losing. We lost the first game and I thought we needed to have a good shape about us today. I thought we did that. There was not too much we could do about their ‘worldy’ free-kick just before half time. In the second half I just asked for a bit more belief going forward and they gave that. As the game wore on we got better and better. We hit the bar, Lyle Taylor had a great chance, and we had a couple flash across the box.”
Neal added that his side’s defensive resilience pleased him and the experience was of great benefit to young defender Will Nightingale.
“We were solid as we put our bodies on the line when we needed to,” added Neal. “I could not fault the players. I believe that we have a good squad and we need people to stick with us. We were a bit down after the game on Saturday, but when we get going I am confident that we will go on a run.
“It was brilliant for Will. I always had him down to play tonight against a Championship side. I think having ‘Robbo’ alongside him helped. He has played on the left, which is not natural for him. Will is learning all the time and he has a bright future ahead of him.”
The full interview with Neal Ardley will be on Dons Player later on today.