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Neal: a decent point

31 January 2015

Post-match reaction from the Dons boss

Neal Ardley praised his side’s battling qualities after the Dons defied second-half pressure from Morecambe to earn a point at the Globe Arena.

James Shea and Barry Fuller made crucial interventions late on to deny Morecambe and the Wimbledon manager was pleased with a good team effort on the day.

Speaking during an interview for Dons Player, Neal Ardley said: “We were much the better side in the first-half, but they were the better team after the break. We had to dig in and we’ll take it as a decent point in the end. Morecambe don’t lose many games for a reason. Everyone put in a shift. The midfield won so many second balls and Bayo caused them problems, but we did not play off him enough.

“First half up until their goal we played well and I felt we were comfortable. We worked all week on how we were going to play and the boys carried it out to the letter for 35-40 minutes. When they scored just before half-time it knocked the stuffing out of us a little bit and they upped the tempo in the second half.

“We had to defend resiliently and we did that. We just lacked that bit of quality between defence and attacking in terms of keeping hold of the ball and passing it well. It ended up being a bit of a slog, but we held firm.”

Jake Reeves scored his first Dons goal at Morecambe and Neal believes his performance showed exactly why he brought him to the club.

“It will give Jake confidence and I thought he was very good today,” added Neal. “Last week he was not very happy with how he played and we have to keep telling him how good he is. In the first half in particular I thought he dictated the play. The goal came after a set play that we had worked hard on and it was a wonderfully crafted goal.”

Neal confirmed afterwards that Sammy Moore (toe) and Alfie Potter (groin) were deemed not fit enough to travel with the squad, but he hopes to have them both back for the home match against Newport County on Saturday.

The full post-match reaction from Neal Ardley will be on Dons Player later and an interview with Jake Reeves will feature tomorrow.

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