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Neal: we were immense

23 January 2016

Reaction from the manager after a brilliant win

Neal Ardley said that Wimbledon’s performance at Notts County today was one of the best since he took over as manager in October 2012.

Speaking during an interview for Dons Player, Neal said: “Certainly in my time it was as good a performance as the club has put in. I thought the performance was immense. We expected them to have a little spell and they tried to put a bit of pressure on for 15 minutes in the second-half, but James Shea hardly had anything to do. My only criticism of the players was that they were not 4-0 up by the time we got the second goal.

“I thought they showed us a lot of respect and they were worried about what we offered. All game we won battles all over the pitch and showed energy and tempo. It was only their goalkeeper and the woodwork that stopped it being four, five or six. The whole squad is buzzing. The two centre forwards that came on caused problems when the other two had ran their defenders into the ground.

“The squad is in a good place and we just need to keep it going. It is not like it needs a lot of coaching. It’s something we’ve been aiming to do. They all know their jobs and we’ve been working on it since the start of the season. I said to the boys afterwards that we just need to bottle what we are doing and to keep up the energy and work-rate.”

The Dons had to reshuffle just before the first whistle with Dannie Bulman suffering a hamstring injury, meaning that Callum Kennedy came in at left-back with Jon Meades switched to central midfield.

Neal praised their contributions and he saluted Tom Elliott’s excellent performance up front, which included a goal of the season contender.

“Dannie felt his hamstring and Stuart Douglas said that we should err on the side of caution,” Neal added. “Callum came straight in with Jon in midfield and both of them performed like we had worked upon it all week. Jon stepped into midfield and was like a machine.

“Tom had been performing like that in training for a number of weeks now. We noticed it before the Exeter game and he showed in that game what he was capable of. I think that took a bit of pressure off his shoulders. Players want to prove themselves after they move clubs and he has done that now. We know how good he can be.”

The full interview with Neal Ardley is now on Dons Player and interviews with Tom Elliott and Andy Barcham will be on our premium channel tomorrow.

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