Manager's reaction after today's draw
Neal Ardley was pleased with his side’s commitment to the cause against Peterborough United today and he said that the players are simply lacking that spark in attack.
Speaking during his post-match interview for Dons Player after the 0-0 draw, Neal said: “I cannot fault the effort and the intensity. With one or two comments about the boys being on holiday, I am not having that. Those comments are for people who are not tracking back or doing their defensive jobs. We are lacking in the final third at the moment. We are trying to get in there and produce that little moment or bit of quality. We had a few reasonably good chances today. There was Robbo’s one at the end that could have won it, just like Jake Reeves the other day. All of a sudden, we could have had two 1-0 wins.
“The small margins make a difference, but I look at the effort the boys put in against a good Peterborough side and they put in a really good shift. They are still doing that in training and I am not having those comments said about them.
“We gave everyone a four-game head start (at the start of the season) and we still managed to get to 54 points with six games remaining. In that spell from the start of the season until six games from the end when we amassed those points, it took a lot of graft and quality to get us there. We are stuttering a little bit now in the final third, but we can only keep going and at the moment the boys are giving everything.”
Neal was delighted with the performance of 17-year-old defender Toby Sibbick, who coped well at right-back on his debut to help earn a clean sheet for the team.
“We felt that today was the right time for Toby to come in with us having two games in four days,” added Neal. “We have a tough one coming up at Bradford and we will have to see what our approach is for that, but I was delighted with Toby. He is a player we have high hopes for. He is about 6ft 4 inches and has shot up in the last year or so. Toby is very athletic and he can play right-back or centre-back. He needs to fill-out in his frame a little bit, we know that, but he should be really proud of his debut.”
Full post-match reaction from Neal Ardley is now on Dons Player and an interview with Toby Sibbick will follow tomorrow.