Post-match reaction from the manager
Neal Ardley was full of praise for the team performance after victory against Leyton Orient, but he said his squad must keep pushing until a play-off place is mathematically certain.
Speaking in a post-match interview for Dons Player, Neal sensed that supporters appreciated the battling qualities shown by the squad in a hard-fought 1-0 victory.
“I always say ‘stick with the boys’ and as long as they are working their socks off and giving everything for this club the fans here are great,” said Neal. “They appreciate that mistakes happen and sometimes the quality does not end up being what we hoped it would be at times. But the boys are putting everything into it and the fans are feeding off that. I can see that they are cheering everything and if we can keep that going for another six weeks, then who knows?
“It’s about working hard for each other and understanding the importance of pressing from the front. I think there was a moment in the first-half when Tom Elliott and Lyle Taylor both ran for 40/50 yards to press their centre back into a mistake. I could see the crowd standing up and clapping. It’s not just beautiful football that gets praised.”
A third successive clean sheet made it five successive victories for Wimbledon and Neal is delighted that his squad has acquired the winning habit.
“It is the effort and endeavour that the boys are putting in to keep a clean sheet,” added Neal. “They are working their socks off. Everyone is all in it for the team. No one is focusing on their own performance as far as what they can get from it. They are thinking ‘we are not going to lose this game as a team’. The energy that needs to go into that is starting from the front.
“If you had said to me a while back that we will be a point short of what was required with three games to go I would have been delighted. But I will be really delighted when it is mathematically certain. Credit to Cambridge for keeping their run going. We have to make sure we take them out of the picture. There were four or five clubs challenging us at one point and now there is only one. We have to make sure we get out of their sight as well.”
The full update from Neal Ardley is now on Dons Player and interviews with Barry Fuller, Tom Elliott, and extended highlights will feature on our premium channel tomorrow.