Manager reaction after Plymouth defeat
Neal Ardley said that his players only had themselves to blame after the defeat to Plymouth as they lost their composure in the second-half.
Speaking during an interview for Dons Player, Neal Ardley said: “There is always optimism for the first game of the season, whether that is from me, the staff or the fans. This has brought us back down to earth massively. I am not even going to look at the first 30 minutes and say that is what we could be because the game is not played over 30 minutes. I have to get to work and make sure that we become a team for 90 minutes with whatever shape that we play.
“I am not stuck on one shape and we will play various, but whatever shape we play I have to make sure that we are better than we were today. We have put in 18 crosses in during the game and add to that about 12 set plays. With the strength and power we have got we never got on the end of enough of them. There is a lot to work on. For a 25 minute spell we contributed to it and we became a little bit all over the shop. We contributed to being a very poor team during that spell.
“The players lost their heads and the composure was gone. Players stopped doing anything to do with the structure of the team. From the front to back there were massive gaps and we made Plymouth look a very good team. I am not saying they are not that, but we definitely contributed to our own downfall.”
Andy Barcham earned the sponsor’s man of the match for an all-action display on the left flank and Neal praised his contribution.
“He was everything I thought he could be,” added Neal. “We worked in training on trying to get Andy in down the left side of the pitch. We tried to get him high up the pitch and he did it brilliantly early on. For 30 minutes we did everything we had worked upon in training and it was just a case of if we could get that goal.
“They got a foothold in the last 15 minutes of the first half and it was a fantastic goal. I don’t think we did a hell of a lot wrong. But we started slowly in the second half and we never got going. It was the opposite of what the half time message was.”
Full post-match reaction from Neal Ardley is now on Dons Player.