Manager's reaction after Bolton defeat
Neal Ardley said he maintains faith that the current squad are good enough to compete in League One after today’s defeat at the hands of Bolton Wanderers.
The manager was pleased with aspects of Wimbledon’s play, in particular the first 20 minutes, but disappointed with the manner of goals conceded.
Speaking during an interview for Dons Player, Neal said: “They were big, strong, and set-up to deal with us. The first goal was a brilliantly worked move and it was one that would grace any league. It was not that we stopped playing or tried to sit back on our lead, we did not do any of that. We lost our intensity after 25 minutes. We just dipped and as soon as that happened they took control of the game in the last 15 minutes of the first-half. We were a little bit at sixes and sevens.
“Their first goal was poor. They have not opened us up and we had three or four bodies around the guy, but he scuffed the shot through legs and it should be saved. In the second-half we tried to raise our intensity again and get our levels back to where they should be. For 20 minutes in the second-half we did that again, but the second goal was poor. It came from a long kick, we did not do the second or third thing right and then you know at this level that good players will punish you.
“It is three defeats and we have to get better, but we will learn from it. We have a group of players who want to do really well and we will carry on. We will be all right. We just need to cut-out giving teams goals and at this level defences will not give you bundles of chances. We need to pick ourselves up and we cannot turn on each other. We need the fans to stick with us. No one thought it was going to be easy. We are two league games into the season, both of them tough matches, and as long as we keep going and have a go then with this group of players we will be fine.”
Neal added that a groin injury to Chris Whelpdale meant that he changed his formation with Andy Barcham deployed in a more advanced role through the middle.
“Chris’s groins were a bit tight and Tom Beere had a funeral to go to yesterday so we were a bit limited,” added Neal. “We wanted to play players in their best positions and we decided to bring Dean Parrett into a three. We wanted to have a good go at them and there were some really good signs in the first 20 minutes when our intensity levels were high. In the heat we struggled to keep that going and at that point they took control of the game.”
Neal’s full post-match reaction is now on Dons Player and interviews with Andy Barcham and Sean Kelly will follow tomorrow.