Dons manager refused to be too downhearted
Neal Ardley said that his players should not be too downhearted after they came up short against League 2 leaders Shrewsbury Town today.
Neal felt that Wimbledon acquitted themselves well against a good side, but they struggled to deliver in the final third when it really mattered.
Speaking during an interview for Dons Player, Neal Ardley said: “We should not be too downhearted because we played good stuff at times, but lacked that bit of quality. We did not start particularly well, but then I thought we grew into the game and had some good moments. We got balls behind their midfield and got bodies forward, but we just chose the wrong options in promising positions.
“They are a very good team with a lot of quality players. We played with two forwards and one in behind so we did go for it. Unfortunately, a few key moments lost it for us. You can write off the last 15 minutes because we had committed a lot of players forward by then. The first goal came just before half-time and that was a blow. We then switched off from a corner for the second goal and when you have to chase the game against a good team then it’s a lot harder. Apart from those moments I thought we defended resiliently and had a good go at it for 75 minutes.”
The Wimbledon manager explained his team selection afterwards with Bayo Akinfenwa deemed not fit enough to lead the attack.
“Bayo had a very tight groin after the Burton match,” added Neal. “With a third game in a week we were not sure we would get a high performance from him. We therefore made the decision to put him on the bench. We wanted to go with some legs and energy up top.”
James Shea was withdrawn due to injury in the first half, but Neal confirmed afterwards that Wimbledon’s number one had recovered from a challenge that saw him stretchered off.
“He seems good now,” Neal said. “He was a bit groggy at first, but fingers-crossed he will be fine. We will assess him during the week and we will not take any risks. He took a whack and blood was coming out of his nose, but he came around pretty quickly and he should be fine for next week.”
The full interview with Neal Ardley will be on Dons Player later.