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Neal: we were excellent

2 March 2016

Wimbledon manager salutes team performance

Neal Ardley was delighted with his side’s overall display after AFC Wimbledon threatened to beat runaway league leaders Northampton Town on their own patch.

Speaking to Dons Player after a pulsating 1-1 draw made it 10 away games unbeaten for Wimbledon, Neal said: “When you set your team up that is what you want to see. We had great attacking play, loads of pace going forward, and the boys gave everything. We really had a go at the best team in the league. It’s only a point, but there’s a lot of teams who have come here and got nothing.

“Lyle Taylor’s goal was breathtaking. We had that good spell when ‘Robbo’ hit the post and the keeper made a save. If we could have scored again at that point we would have had something to hang onto, but unfortunately that spell came and went.

“We knew that a team like Northampton with all the talent they have got would come back at us. We had to defend for our lives and we did that well too. Chris Wilder and me looked at each other at one point and said ‘what a game’. That was as entertaining a game in League 2 as I have been a part of. Neither side really deserved to lose it.”

During the interview with WDON’s Rob Cornell, Neal added that his half-time instructions were for his side to be more aggressive.

“We set the team up differently because we wanted to have the ball,” said Neal. “We wanted to enjoy being on the ball and have a go at them. We knew it would help us defensively too. I thought the boys were excellent, but we came in 1-0 down after one moment when we switched off from a set-piece. It would have been easy to be frustrated by that, but I said to the players we had to be snappier and more aggressive in the way we closed down and in our one versus one defending. We took the game to them in the second-half. We are a really good team and we showed that in the second-half.”

Post-match video interviews with Neal Ardley, Tom Elliott and Paul Robinson, along with extended match highlights, will feature on Dons Player later today.

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