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Post-match reaction from Neal as the Dons make their point

Verdict of the manager after Wimbledon draw

12 November 2017

By Rob Cornell

Neal Ardley was pleased his strikers took their goals and is aiming for more chances to fall their way.

“We’ve got to chip away at the points," said Neal in an interview to our premium iFollow Dons channel, after Wimbledon earned a 2-2 draw with Peterborough.

“Kwesi (Appiah) is a big loss for us. We probably won’t get him back until mid-December now, so for the time being Lyle, Cody, Harry and Barchy – they’re the kind of players that have got to carry us through this spell and try and get the goals that are going to make a difference.

“The performances - by and large - have been okay. Goals change games - we’ve been trying and we just need to take those chances that can change a game and put it in our favour.

“It was a great start, but you look at the goals we’ve conceded and it’s hard to take. One is a penalty where the guy is going away from goal and under no pressure and perhaps a little bit soft. The other has flicked off Barry Fuller’s head and gone in off the far post.

“We don’t seem to be getting those chances for ourselves. For all their attacking prowess, they are the two goals Peterborough have scored from.”

Wimbledon’s goals came at the beginning and end of the first half, as Lyle Taylor (pictured celebrating with captain Barry Fuller) took less than a minute to open the scoring and Cody McDonald levelled matters before the break.

“It was a great goal from Lyle. We have a kick-off routine that we didn’t execute very well, but we still managed to score after 36 seconds! It was a great strike and the sort of area we want our strikers to come in from – on the outside of their back three.

“Goals change games and to get Cody on the score sheet and feeling a bit better about himself – that might spiral him off on a little run now.”

Having weighed up the performance, Neal was able to reflect on a creditable point in front of the live TV cameras.

“Overall, in the end, in an end-to-end game we might have nicked it, but we might have lost it. We have to take the point and the performance as a positive one,” said Neal.

“We had a good look, as we always do, at the teams we play against. Peterborough have a system where they play 3-4-2-1 – today they played the 1 and the 2 slightly differently. We did a lot of work in the week, we wanted to put all our attacking options on the pitch, but try and get them into areas that would hurt them. For the first twenty to twenty-five minutes it worked really well.

“The problem is sometimes with that – and I know most of our fans want to see us go forward and score goals – I thought that today, more than ever, I felt we could get counter-attacked quite often.

“We had to be really resolute in our defending as they got into some really promising situations. It’s always that little bit of a balance.”

Full post-match reaction with the manager and an interview with striker Cody McDonald, on his first league goal for the club, are available to subscribers of our premium iFollow Dons channel.

Photo: Matt Redman (Pro Sports Images).

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