Post-match reaction from the manager
Neal Ardley praised his side’s perseverance after Wimbledon battled right until the very end to salvage a point against Wycombe.
Neal concluded afterwards that it was a match far from easy on the eye, but he was pleased with the attitude of his players against a team that earned a reputation for grinding out victories during their promotion near miss last season.
Speaking during an interview for Dons Player, Neal said: “It was a difficult game and it’s always the same against them. You get a lot of free-kicks given against you. Every time you touch them somebody goes down and that’s disappointing, but it has happened every time we’ve played them. The lads get frustrated and it becomes difficult to play your game. You end up getting sucked into a game that they are a lot better at than we are.
“We tried to get the message to the players at half-time to be braver, pass the ball and use more width, but then we conceded a rubbish goal and it became hard. Credit to the staff because we made brave substitutions and went with three up. We tried to get hold of the middle of the pitch and we took the game to them in the last half hour.
“I would not want to watch this game of football every week, but luckily we don’t play like that very often. Today was a tough game in the conditions against a team that revel in making you play that way. We scrapped and scrapped and showed a lot of character. You cannot win every game and we have ended up with a point towards the total that we want to get.”
Neal was delighted with the impact of his substitutes with goalscorer Ade Azeez and Tom Elliott both playing a part in the equaliser and Callum Kennedy also offering width down the left side.
“Ade has changed his mentality, he’s not an Under-21 player anymore,” added Neal. “Ade feels like he is a part of it and he is a massively important part of our squad. Callum came on and got up and down the left really well. Tom put himself about for the goal and he had trained well all week after a toe injury. He had showed well in training and that was the least I expected from Tom.”
Full post-match reaction from Neal is now on Dons Player and interviews with Ade Azeez and Karleigh Osborne will follow tomorrow.