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Team ethic is key for Neal

16 November 2016

Manager's reaction after Dons march through in cup

Neal Ardley was delighted with the performances of forward pair Lyle Taylor and Dominic Poleon, but he praised the whole team for getting to grips with the system deployed by opponents Bury.

The manager said that sponsor’s Man of the Match Taylor and two-goal Poleon had been rewarded for all their hard work in the 5-0 win.

Speaking during an interview for Dons Player, Neal said: “They were two great goals for Dominic. He has had a groin injury and we kind of rushed him back. We went like-for-like when ‘Barchy’ had to come off and it has paid off. I’m delighted for Dominic because we are really working on his work ethic and working hard for the team. He did that really well tonight.

“The stand-out for me was Lyle Taylor. That was Lyle at his best. He was chasing everything, constantly on the move, constantly running in behind, both first-half and second-half. At times, we were trying to stop him pressing late on in the game. It is just trying to get him to be that every week, even though he sometimes has to do a job for the team a little wider. When he is like that he is certainly one of the best in the league.

“I don’t look at the goalscoring on its own. I look at the assists and the chances different players create. I count them all as one because I want players to know that creating chances is as important as scoring them. Having them think that way, you get more of a team ethic and long may that continue.”

Neal felt that Bury caused Wimbledon problems early on, but he was pleased that his players adapted well to the challenge.

“The fans enjoyed tonight, but I would have taken 1-0 before the game. I said pre-game when I named the team that Bury lost 4-1 to Southend on Saturday, but I had watched it back and they were excellent. Players like Danny Mayor, Tom Soares and James Vaughan could hurt us. For 15 minutes they caught us a bit. They changed to three at the back and one thing we try to pride ourselves on is our players knowing how to play against systems.

“We work really hard on different scenarios in training and as soon as we noticed it was three we tried to get the message to our players. It took us 15 minutes to get to grips with it, but we were much better after that. Obviously, we scored the goals, but then they changed to 3-4-3 and that caused us different problems. We just had to make sure we got through to half-time. We made a few tweaks and in the second-half it was a professional performance.”

One negative on the night was the withdrawal of Andy Barcham just before the half hour mark with Neal reporting that he had tweaked his hamstring. Jon Meades was also taken off the team sheet late as his ankle was not quite right and Neal admitted that he got it wrong in picking both players initially.

Visit Dons Player to access full post-match reaction from Neal and interviews will follow on Wednesday with Dominic Poleon and Dean Parrett.

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