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Neal praises battling Dons

11 February 2015

Post-match reaction from the manager

Neal Ardley saluted his side’s battling qualities after they frustrated Burton Albion and he felt that Wimbledon could have snatched all three points at the Pirelli Stadium.

A defiant performance denied the hosts a seventh successive home win and Wimbledon had to see out the match with 10 men due to Mark Phillips’ sending off.

Speaking during an interview for Dons Player after Wimbledon had extended their unbeaten run to four matches, Neal Ardley said: “We defended resiliently and the boys have given everything. There is a good feeling around the camp and we come away in good spirits. It was obviously tough after the sending off because we had to curb what we had been doing, but I thought when it was 11 versus 11 that we were the more likely team to score.

“It was a tough evening in many ways and I have to be careful with what I say. It’s really hard when you prepare your team perfectly for the game, but certain things go on that you cannot do anything about.”

Neal felt that his players executed a game plan effectively after one or two teething problems early on and they could have earned all three points with a bit more conviction.

“Other than a few long range shots they never really threatened,” added Neal. “In the first half they had territorial advantage and we never quite got to grips with how we were trying to play. In the second half we tinkered with things a bit and we had the best chances in the game. They pressed to get a goal, but we had the better opportunities.

“We have a good squad and we wanted to play to our strengths. We knew we could get our two skilful dribblers (Alfie Potter and Craig Tanner) up with Bayo and make things happen. It did not quite happen, but we pushed Craig further forward in the second half and he got in behind them a lot. They were playing a high line and we tried to exploit that. We had three or four one-on-ones. Alfie Potter had one of those in the first half, Craig Tanner had two in the second half and Ade Azeez almost got in. We had some great chances.”

Dons Player subscribers can now watch Neal Ardley's full post-match reaction.

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