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Neal: we were faultless

22 October 2016

Manager's post-match reaction after Dons move up to sixth

Neal Ardley praised the overall performance of his team for carrying out a game plan at Peterborough United that worked to perfection.

The Dons produced a display that had Peterborough on the back foot throughout and Neal was impressed with the way his side limited the hosts to very little as they searched desperately for an equaliser.

Speaking during a post-match interview for Dons Player, Neal said: “It was the most one-sided game I’ve ever been involved in. It was hard at half-time because everyone in the ground thought that we needed that second goal. We had so many chances and they could not get out of their half. I was delighted with them. From Tom Elliott at the top to James Shea at the back, they were faultless in the way they went about the game plan to be better than Peterborough. The only thing I can criticise them about is the goal difference and we could have won by four.

“It was not just the football and the way that we dominated the game. They are a good team who play open football, but we stopped them doing what they are good at. The intensity that we showed limited them to long balls and because of that we kept on going on the attack. The set-piece routine that we scored with was specific to this game and we had a different one later in the game that got cleared off the line.

“I was impressed with the energy and flow that the team showed, but also the way that they defended. I said to the boys afterwards that I was not just proud of the performance. Everyone in the ground felt it was going to be one of those games that we would end up drawing 1-1 and we did not deserve to. The boys made sure that they did not leave anything to chance and they limited Peterborough to very little.”

The manager made six changes to his starting line-up, one of those forced upon him when Darius Charles was deemed unfit to play just before kick-off, and Neal was delighted with the way it worked out.

“We lost Darius in the warm-up,” said Neal. “He was struggling to train yesterday, but we thought we would make a call and we wanted him out on the pitch. He did not feel he could do it though. Will Nightingale has come in today and he was immense, but so too was Chris Robertson. We chose to play Chris Whelpdale, Tom Beere and George Francomb. Obviously, there was an element of fatigue after playing on that pitch at Bury, but we felt that we were not weakening the team. The energy they played with was fantastic and we feel we have a really strong 21 or 22 players this season.”

Full post-match reaction from Neal Ardley is on Dons Player and interviews with Tom Elliott and Will Nightingale will feature tomorrow.

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