Post-match reaction from the manager
Neal Ardley saluted his side’s defensive qualities after the Dons dug in for a hard-earned point at Portsmouth today.
A draw at Fratton Park extended Wimbledon’s unbeaten league run to four matches and the manager was pleased with the commitment of his players to the cause.
Speaking during a post-match interview with Rob Cornell for Dons Player, Neal said: “The whole back four and the goalkeeper were solid. I was glad that they got a clean sheet. We defended brilliantly, including the players in front of the back four too. The midfielders were tigerish and we are happy because it’s a good point on the road. We did not come here for a point, we came here to win, but we have come away with a draw. We also had moments when I thought we could have nicked it.
“We have given them respect because they have good players in good areas, but I thought it was an even game. I know ‘Cooky’ has been frustrated with a lot of teams playing one up front and parking the bus, but today we played two up front with one in the hole behind so it doesn’t get any braver than that. We came here and played a diamond formation and tried to hurt them. We didn't come here to sit back and I think that showed.”
Neal added that the response from his whole squad since a heavy defeat at the hands of Morecambe had been particularly pleasing.
“Three or four weeks ago we came in with our heads down after we got ripped apart on the break by Morecambe, but our response since then has been very good,” said Neal. “You are never going to go right through the season unbeaten in this league and it is about how you respond to defeats. We have bounced back with four good performances and next time we lose we need to do that again.”
Neal confirmed afterwards that Tom Elliott missed today’s game due to a toe injury.
Full post-match reaction from Neal Ardley is now on Dons Player and an interview with Barry Fuller will follow tomorrow.