Manager's post-match reaction
Neal Ardley felt satisfied with the overall performance of his side against Shrewsbury today, but he was frustrated with a second-half spell that cost Wimbledon all three points.
The 1-1 draw meant that Wimbledon have lost just once in six league games, but maximum points slipped through their grasp after a fightback from Shrewsbury.
Speaking during a post-match interview for Dons Player, Neal Ardley said: “It could and should have been three points, but by and large I was really pleased with the performance. I had said in my programme notes that we work hard all week to put in a performance on a Saturday, but we let ourselves down against Sheffield United.
“Today, we played three forwards against what we thought was going to be a back three. That was really brave, but in doing that we had to make sure that we were not out-passed or outnumbered in midfield. I think we did that really well. We were the better team in the first half and we deserved to be in the lead.
“I knew Micky Mellon was not happy at half-time and I expected his team to come out all guns blazing at the start of the second-half. That was the disappointing part because we warned the boys that they were going to come at us. We knew we had to go up another level, but we watched for 15 minutes as that did not happen. It was a fortunate goal, but it came from a little bit of pressure that we could have done better to avoid. “
Despite that setback, Neal is encouraged with his side’s recent form and goalkeeper James Shea’s display was another positive, according to the Wimbledon manager.
“We were the better team again after that 15 minutes and we created a lot of chances,” added Neal. “We’ve lost just once in six games now and there is a lot of good things with the work-rate and fitness of the boys. We have a tough schedule coming up and it was a good opportunity today to have a go at it. I hope the club and the fans could see that we were positive in trying to win the game.
“The sweeping up at the back from James Shea was excellent. We work hard on that as well and he was brave in his starting positions. Credit to ‘Bayzo’ because he works hard with all the goalkeepers on it. We are delighted with that and there was nothing he could do about the goal.”
Neal Ardley’s full post-match reaction is now on Dons Player and an interview with Lyle Taylor will follow tomorrow.