Manager delighted with side
Neal Ardley saluted his squad’s “unbelievable character” after the Dons bounced back from a heavy defeat to Morecambe with two successive away victories.
Speaking to Dons Player after today’s 3-1 win at York City, Neal Ardley said: “We have a lot of good people who want to do really well for this club. They do not like losing and they don’t like the sloppy things that have cost us games. It does not need me to tell them. Add that to loads of qualities, some really good players, and a team from 1-18 – including players coming off the bench and playing their roles perfectly – and we are all right.
“After a kick in the proverbials last Saturday when we got picked off for fun we have shown unbelievable character. In midweek I did not give the boys enough credit for that. I was angry with the goals that we conceded. I need to learn to give credit where it is due. What they did on Tuesday was unbelievable and then they came here today and there were no excuses or tiredness in their legs. It was as comfortable an away performance as you can get. Even when they had a setback, which came out of the blue, they kicked on again.”
Though Neal was quick to highlight a great team performance, he praised the impact of Lyle Taylor since his return after suspension.
“One thing we talked about at the start of the season is that sometimes people take time to find out what the manager wants from them. Maybe his sending off was a blessing because we got a chance to really work on his fitness. One thing he is doing, which I ask all the players to do, is to play as hard as possible and bring an energy to the team. He did that perfectly today as a centre-forward away from home.
“He ran so hard defensively, with the ball, transitionally, and they all did. Take away Lyle’s goal – I know strikers are there to score – but what pleased me is the hard work and that is what I will praise him for.”
Neal Ardley revealed afterwards that Bayo Akinfenwa had suffered a thigh injury in training yesterday and that meant that Egli Kaja was instead included in the squad as a substitute.
The full post-match interview with Neal Ardley will be on Dons Player later and an interview with Callum Kennedy will follow tomorrow.