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Neal on hard-fought draw

12 November 2016

Manager's verdict after Dons secure point at Oldham

Neal Ardley was pleased with his side’s resilience after the Dons dug in for a point at Oldham Athletic today.

After having the better of the first-half, Wimbledon showed plenty of commitment in the second-half to extend an unbeaten league away run that stretches back to the opening day at Walsall.

Speaking during a post-match interview for Dons Player, Neal Ardley said: “We expect the boys to have a go. That game was in the balance and you can lose these matches 1-0. With 10 minutes to go I was worried and I would have taken a point, even though we threw two forwards on and tried to have a go. It was a hard-fought point, the least I expect is for the boys to put in a shift, and I thought we did that today.

“We started quite well and I thought we edged the first-half. We controlled spells of the game. We had a good energy about us and we had a couple of really good chances. Their keeper made a really good save from Jake Reeves. Although we started the second-half well, I thought they edged it. They came at us and put us under more pressure in the second-half.

“They bombarded us a bit and we have ended up needing a wonderful save from James Shea to get us out of trouble. I cannot fault the boys. George (Francomb) slotted in at the last minute to play his part in a good back five performance to keep a clean sheet.”

Francomb filled in effectively at left-back after an injury to Jon Meades and Neal saluted his versatility afterwards.

“I think it summed up how good George is,” added Neal. “George showed how intelligent a footballer he is. People like the quick players who can take people on, but George is very similar to myself. He can play in a number of positions, he can get through it by using his brain, and he serves the team well. Jon Meades was in agony yesterday with his ankle and we tried to see if 24 hours would make any difference, but it was not quite right.”

Full post-match reaction, including Neal’s assessment on the season so far, is on Dons Player.

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