Post-match reaction from the manager
Neal Ardley said his players must produce better quality in front of goal after Wimbledon paid the price for missed opportunities at Mansfield.
The Wimbledon manager could not fault his side for effort and commitment, but he was frustrated with a lack of conviction in attack as the Dons slipped to a third successive away defeat.
Speaking during an interview for Dons Player, Neal Ardley said: “It was a harsh defeat, but we did not see our jobs through and we have lost the game because of it. We knew they would be hurting after their defeat and we tried to take the game to them. It was a scrappy game on a bobbly pitch but after 15 minutes of their pressure I thought we grew into the game.
“At the end we have been punished for sloppy defending and we missed four or five one-on-ones. If you are not good enough in their box and not good enough in your own box then it will be tough to win. We need more quality in front of goal and that seems to be a problem at the moment.”
Neal added that the players were “devastated” with the manner of defeat and he believes that they more than matched a side scrapping for points to guarantee safety.
“I thought the boys gave everything,” Neal said. “If I was a fan watching this game then I would have seen the boys run hard and put themselves about in a bruising encounter. It was a passionate performance, but we have missed one-on-one chances and they are the moments that change games. What could have been a hard-earned point and even three has ended up being nothing.”
Ross Worner returned in goal for his first League 2 game of the season and Neal Ardley hailed his performance as “excellent” at the One Call Stadium. However, there was a blow for Wimbledon in the first half with Callum Kennedy withdrawn due to a thigh strain and Neal Ardley said it was too early to assess the extent of the damage.
Dons Player subscribers will be able to view the full video interview with Neal Ardley later on today.