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Neal salutes keeper Joe

14 April 2017

Post-match interview with the manager

Joe McDonnell vindicated the manager’s faith in him by keeping a clean sheet at Swindon Town today and Neal Ardley praised his display afterwards.

With 16-year-old Joe Bursik also stepping up to the first-team squad after James Shea was ruled out due to illness, the signs look promising for AFC Wimbledon in the goalkeeping department.

Speaking during a post-match interview for Dons Player, Neal said: “I thought that young Joe had an excellent game in there. He has come in and done really well. James Shea had not been well and we wish him a speedy recovery, but we would have potentially given Joe a game anyway. It was great for Joe Bursik to be on the bench as well. He is an England Under-17 keeper and really well regarded by us. If ‘Macca’ had been injured today, Joe Bursik would have been on that pitch and I am sure he would have handled it.”

Neal added that he was pleased with the defensive resilience shown by his players at the County Ground, but there was a lack of quality from Wimbledon going forward.

“We showed a fantastic attitude, effort, endeavour, and work-rate, particularly without the ball,” said Neal. “But it was really poor decision-making and quality in the final third. When the quality is not quite there, you have to do everything you can to make sure that you stay in the game and take something from it. That is what the boys have done so I cannot fault them for that. Probably the one moment of quality we had was when great play from Lyle set-up Jake, but we never really looked like we had the quality or the confidence to take our chances if they came about.”

Full post-match reaction from Neal Ardley with WDON’s Rob Cornell posing the questions is now on Dons Player. An interview with Joe McDonnell will also follow tomorrow.

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