Manager happy to take a point for fans
Neal Ardley was pleased with his side's dedication to the cause at Carlisle today.
Speaking during an interview for Dons Player, Neal said that Keith Curle’s side provided a difficult challenge and he was proud that his squad came away with something for the 311 travelling Wimbledon supporters.
“All our fans are fantastic, but the ones who travel away make a good day of it,” said Neal. “I went and gave them a salute at the end. For the fans to give their whole day up to come and support us is fantastic. They made a lot of noise. Although at times we lacked quality, hopefully they can see that the boys gave it absolutely everything. They may be disappointed when they get on the train home that we did not get the three points, but hopefully they are proud.
“A point is good away from home. I was concerned going into this game that we had to get our shape right without the ball. It is a massive pitch here and they play a very open game. Keith Curle has changed their style around after keeping them up last season. They have been causing a lot of teams problems, even though they had not been winning games. They could have been 4-0 up against Plymouth at half time.
“Carlisle had certainly opened up teams and they are a decent side to be fair. We worked really hard and with 25 minutes to go I thought we might come away with a 1-0 away win, but it was not to be. We dealt with the first part of their set-piece (for their goal), but we did not get close enough for the second part of it and he has finished it well. The boys have put in a great shift and it is a good point. The players were out on their feet at the end.”
Neal added that the attacking threat his side showed in spells away from home was another positive of the performance.
“I thought we had three or four really good moments in the game when I thought we could have scored,” Neal said. “It was a very good goal we scored, it was well-taken and clever. We are all a bit disappointed after being 1-0 up. I don’t think that we were at our best, but when a team plays brave on a big pitch and pens you back you have to see your jobs out. It was more about catching them on the break, rather than dominating like we did in the first-half against Cambridge.”
Neal confirmed afterwards that Dannie Bulman was withdrawn in the first half with a tight hamstring and Tom Elliott was substituted after the break with a groin strain.
The full post-match reaction from Neal Ardley is now on Dons Player and an interview with Tom Elliott will follow tomorrow.