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Mixed emotions for Neal

6 January 2015

Match reaction after brave loss to Liverpool

Neal Ardley felt the Dons missed a great opportunity to cause an FA Cup surprise on a proud night for AFC Wimbledon.

Despite pushing Liverpool all the way, the Wimbledon manager expressed a sense of disappointment after the 2-1 third round defeat that came in front of a 4,784 crowd and millions watching on TV all around the country.

Speaking during an interview for Dons Player, Neal Ardley said: “I’m really disappointed and I think the players should be too. They should be proud of their performance, but this was a chance for us. If we had that bit more quality and nous we could have got something out of the game. Ultimately, at this level world class players make a difference and he (Steven Gerrard) certainly did tonight.

“Our performance was good after a first 25 minutes when we were nervous. We took things we had worked on too literally. We worried too much about their game, but once we got into our rhythm and played the way we can then we caused them problems.”

Neal felt his side were full value for the half-time score as Wimbledon matched Liverpool to go in 1-1 at the break.

“In the first-half they only had one chance to score, but we had three or four chances, even though they had the major share of possession,” Neal added. “We had a bit of a go at it for 20 minutes after half-time, but the second goal is a moment of quality and that kills you. As the game wore on we had to go for it and we started to get tired. They are clever and they knew where the gaps were on the counter-attack. James Shea did well to keep the score down at that point.”

Dons Player subscribers can watch the video interview with Neal Ardley on our premium channel.

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