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Neal proud of great week

4 March 2017

Manager's reaction after draw at Bolton

Neal Ardley said that everyone at the club had pulled together to get AFC Wimbledon’s season back on track after denying promotion contenders Bolton today.

Speaking during a post-match interview for Dons Player, Neal said: “There are loads of positives, it has been a really good week. They have all played their part; the management staff, the board, and the players. That is my message and hopefully the fans were proud that the team have come here today and performed the way that they did. We have to keep it going now. We have some big games coming up. We cannot guarantee results, but we have to keep the momentum and the spark about us. If we can do that, hopefully we can finish the season strongly.

“In the last couple of weeks, we have played really well and not always got the results. Like we’ve said before, the players were quite flat after going out of the cup and the staff have worked really hard to get them back into this place and this momentum. The staff deserve credit and so too do the board. They really pushed the boat out in terms of how they set-up the last week.

 “Travelling to Scunthorpe and Bolton is tough on the legs, but the board helped us prepare for this game at the end of a tough week. I think that showed in the performance on the pitch. There is a lot of credit to those behind the scenes, but obviously credit goes mostly to the players for the way they conducted themselves out there.”

Neal praised the players for bouncing back after a difficult start at the Macron Stadium today.

“For 20 minutes, Bolton played their game really well,” added Neal. “We had shown the players that 70 per cent of their goals had come from set-pieces and then we conceded 10 in the first 15 minutes! But then we responded to the goal and took control of the game. I thought from 20-25 minutes we were miles the better team in the first-half. In the second-half they had a couple of chances, but most of it was shots from the edge of the box. I thought we dug in there, we had a few tired bodies, but we got a well-earned point.

“It was great that Tom got the goal, it was a great ball in from George Francomb. I thought George was good the other day, but he was outstanding today. I think the save James Shea made in the first minute of the second-half was key. It was a great free-kick and a great save. We’ve had a few deflections against us in the last few weeks. It was a great moment for him personally, it kept us in the game, and gave us a chance.”

The full post-match interview with Neal Ardley is now on Dons Player and tomorrow an interview with Will Nightingale and extended highlights will be on our premium channel.

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