Manager assesses defeat to Dagenham & Redbridge
Neal Ardley said it was tough to explain how his side had ended up losing against Dagenham & Redbridge after dominating the match for long spells.
But speaking during his post-match interview for Dons Player, Neal felt it was a Wimbledon performance though that lacked tempo and conviction.
“We had gone five unbeaten in the league and we were thought that we were doing a lot of good things, but then we found tonight that football does kick you in the proverbials,” said Neal. “I still don’t know how we lost the game, but perhaps the biggest beef for me is that we did not quite do enough to win the game. I think if we had our quality and end-product in the final third we would have put them to the sword.
“For 20 minutes we probably lacked a bit of tempo to our play, which is needed when you are playing a team down there fighting for their lives. But from that point on I thought it was just a case of whether we could get the goal. Even with 20 minutes to go I was trying to make some changes to try and nick a goal that would make it a really good evening.
“I don’t think they even had what you would class as a shot on goal and we have lost 1-0. The worst that we would have expected was to come away with a 0-0. The goal we conceded was riddled with ridiculous things that would not happen if we tried it nine or ten times again. As a manager, I have to take the flak.”
Neal added that his squad must strive to put the defeat behind them quickly in a similar fashion to the way that was achieved after the 5-2 defeat to Morecambe.
“We have to stick together now and it’s all about how we bounce back from defeat,” Neal said. “After Morecambe we managed to do that and in this league you can have sticky spells. We have to make sure that we do our best not to have one.”
A video interview with Neal Ardley is now on Dons Player and post-match reaction from captain Barry Fuller will also follow on our premium channel.