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Neal surprised by score

19 November 2016

Manager delighted after Dons hit five again

Neal Ardley said today’s margin of victory exceeded expectations after the Dons hit Bury for five once again today.

Neal praised Dominic Poleon’s contribution to the first-half goal blitz that proved too much for the visitors and he added that a tactical switch helped swing the match Wimbledon’s way.

“I am really surprised,” said Neal. “It has exceeded my expectations – I know we are capable of it because we showed it on Tuesday – but I thought it would be a tight affair. In the first 15-20 minutes I thought that everything they wanted to do, they did. Their game plan worked. They sort of picked things up in midfield and they looked quite solid. Our front three found it difficult to get in behind.

“We changed things, more or less at the time we started scoring. We changed to a 4-4-2, started trying to get two up against their back two, and running down the sides a bit more. That worked really well and I am delighted with everyone because they’ve all put in a shift this week.

“Dominic has scored some goals, but I’ve talked to him a bit about recognising if someone is in a better position than him. Twice he got into great areas today, including the one he has set-up for Tom. It builds a great rapport amongst the strikers. Dom could have scored, but Tom was in a better position and he has put it into him. That’s what we want players to do. Dom knows that he got praise from me for that, more than anything.”

Neal added that he was delighted by the performances of 18-year-old Seth Owens on his full league debut and Chris Whelpdale, who has shown improved form in recent weeks.

“I thought Seth was outstanding,” said Neal. “We decided to put George Francomb into midfield and he was excellent with his two goals. Seth played in the EFL Trophy, he did really well in that game, and he has played really well this time around. Total credit must go to Alan Reeves, who found him in the summer. He has pushed Seth towards me and said that I could trust him and he would not let me down.

“I was delighted with Chris Whelpdale. He has not played as much and in early season he was struggling with groin injuries. We played him 4-4-2 and then we went to a three so he did not find his way back in. Chris has a fantastic attitude, he is great in the air, and he has given us a lot of qualities. Throughout his career he has scored goals and the other night he assisted a goal. He should be in a good place now.”

   and interviews with Tom Elliott and Seth Owens will follow tomorrow. Dons PlayerFull post-match reaction from Neal is now on 

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