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Neal: credit to players

1 March 2017

Manager's reaction after victory against promotion-chasers

Neal Ardley praised his squad for adapting to a system that worked brilliantly to defeat Scunthorpe United.

Speaking during an interview for Dons Player, Neal said there was little time to implement the 3-5-2 formation that paid off at Glanford Park.

“We only had yesterday to do some work on the change of system. We looked at it and we felt that Scunthorpe play a 4-4-2, but with Josh Morris and Duane Holmes looking to come off the lines and play narrow. We thought we would be brave and go with a 3-5-2 to try and win that middle of the pitch. We wanted to try and give the boys a free hit to express themselves even more and try to work the system as best as they could.

“We had a lot of tired bodies yesterday and it was hard to try and get all those messages across to the players who were struggling to run around too much. We got most of it across and credit to the players. They have taken the information on and they have executed it brilliantly.

“It’s always nice when you make a decision based on knowledge, the opposition, and what you think is right for the team at the time. We do not always get it right and I always admit it when I don’t. It is a gamble sometimes to move things around and to do it well.

“Everyone played well, but Will Nightingale came into the team and he had an outstanding game. He is a big positive for us as a club. Now that he is back from injury, we are delighted to have him. There were some really good performances out there. Lyle and Dominic ran themselves into the ground and there are unsung heroes in any system. George Francomb and Andy Barcham were up and down as wing-backs and they both did great jobs.”

The picture above (taken by Simon Davies, Pro Sports Images) shows Will Nightingale winning a header during tonight’s game.

Neal was delighted to provide a victory for the travelling Dons who made the trip on a Tuesday night and also those watching back at the club.

“I know the game was beamed back to our stadium so there would have been a few fans having a beer and enjoying it,” added Neal. “It was great to put a performance on for them and for the fans at the game. Those who made the trip were phenomenal and we all went over and showed our appreciation at the end. It shows what this club is about. It sets us up nicely for Bolton on Saturday and we are looking forward to it.”

Post-match reaction from Neal, Dean Parrett, and Dominic Poleon, along with extended highlights, will be available to Dons Player subscribers later on today.

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