Manager's reaction after narrow defeat
Neal Ardley could not fault the commitment of his players after defeat at Morecambe and he believes the Dons are still capable of making the play-offs.
The manager felt that his side recovered from a “flat” first-half display with a much-improved second-half performance.
Speaking during an interview with Rob Cornell for Dons Player, Neal Ardley said: “We were a little bit flat in the first-half and we looked like we had played three games in a week. They were a bit sharper to everything, but in the second-half I thought we were a lot better. We carried a good threat all the time, but so too did they. Moments change games and we conceded a bad first goal.
“The players will be disappointed when they see the first goal back. I have seen it back and it is really poor. It is stuff that we’ve worked really hard on all season. It was a disappointing goal to concede, but Lyle Taylor goes down the other end and he did fantastic to beat the keeper, but it comes off the inside of the post. Within two minutes Ryan Sweeney has been sent off and we are 2-0 down.
“The character, energy and work-rate that the lads put in I could not fault. They gave everything, but we have to stop conceding goals. We have to pick ourselves up and at the end of the day we are more than capable of getting at least 19 points from 10 games. We are that good.”
Rhys Murphy came close to netting a debut goal after joining on loan from Oldham Athletic yesterday and Neal was impressed with his first game for AFC Wimbledon.
“Rhys was sharp and he obviously had the goal chalked off for offside,” added Neal. “He got in a couple of times and with clever movement. Yesterday in training was the first time he had played together with Lyle Taylor and they linked up well. At the end it’s disappointing when you are pushing for it and you don’t have a big man to play off and cause a problem. With a little bit of composure from Ade we would have come away with a 2-2 and a fantastic comeback.”
Neal said that Andy Barcham was withdrawn at half-time with a back injury.
The full interview with Neal Ardley after Morecambe is now on Dons Player.