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Neal laments lack of discipline

Manager's post-match reaction after defeat to Wigan

16 December 2017

Neal Ardley felt that the 4-0 score-line was not a reflection of the game today and he said that a lack of discipline cost his side.

Speaking during his post-match interview for iFollow, Neal said: "It was never a 4-0, it is in the end obviously because the result goes that way. If I did the team-talk 65 minutes in, it is a positive team-talk. They carried out the game plan really well. In the first-half Wigan had a couple of chances early on when we did not quite get it right. After that there was nothing between the two teams. I spoke to 'Cooky' and he told me that they came in at half-time and said, 'if we get a goal, great, but if not, we will try to get a 0-0'. They did not expect what they got, but our ill-discipline was what cost us.

"The referee gave a horrendous decision, which cost us the first goal. It was a clear foul on Lyle Taylor, he did not get it, and within 30 seconds it is a goal. It happened all game and I spoke to the fourth official about it. They dismiss your comments and say, 'it is only a throw-in', but it's a throw-in that can nearly lead to a goal, and so on, and so forth. We lost our discipline then though. Within the last 20 minutes we lost our heads. Deji did something to the keeper, I don't know what, Tom Soares did a late tackle and could have gone, and then Harry has gone. The last 20 minutes you have to put to one side a little bit because the game was over by that point. It has not done our goal difference any good, but my job is to protect the boys and say, 'we have a good team and we have 32 points to get in 25 games'. We have to get them ready to do that."

Neal felt Wimbledon could take positives from the performance for the best part of 70 minutes against a team currently well clear at the top of League One.

"People will probably remember the last 20 minutes and say that we were well beaten, but we were not. For 65 minutes, we had a right go. I was proud of that, but disappointed with the lack of discipline. I take responsibility for everything that happens at the club. I take full responsibility for the first 65 minutes when we were having a right go and then it was very difficult after that. When you are down to 10 men, there is no game plan to cope with that.

"There was a lot of good stuff. Their manager said they had to defend brilliantly to stay in the game. This is a team that dominate teams regularly. Their second and third goals were breathtaking and from top players. There is nothing you can really do about them, though maybe we could have defended a little bit better for the second goal. The first goal is the most disappointing for me and the sending offs. The rest of it: the effort and the way the boys put in a performance for 65 minutes, it was nothing anyone could moan about."

The full post-match interview with Neal is on iFollow.

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