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Neal's post-match reaction after defeat

Manager's thoughts after home loss against Portsmouth

9 September 2017

By Chris Slavin

Neal Ardley felt that Wimbledon were on the wrong end of vital decisions from the referee today, but he said that his side's overall performances must improve.

Speaking during his post-match interview for iFollow after defeat to Portsmouth, Neal said: "It is not good enough. It's my fault because I am the manager. I have brought these players to the club and I have to get them playing better. At the moment, everything is a bit of a struggle. Everything is going against us, as far as penalty decisions and goals. Hopefully, if we keep chipping away and we all stick together, we can turn it around.

"My over-riding emotion is that we have too many players not playing at the top of their game. They are the players we need to rely on and the players we have to get the best out of in the next few weeks. We have a few coming back from injuries, but we need more from the players collectively. We need to get their confidence levels going so that they can play better every week. We need to do more and we are not quite doing enough."

Neal believes that referee Kevin Johnson's decision to award a crucial first-half penalty against captain Barry Fuller was a very harsh one.

"The simple fact is that we have again conceded two poor goals," added Neal. "The first one came through nothing and they had hardly had an attempt on goal before that. I've seen it back and it is a soft penalty. You see worse than that from every corner. Obviously, then there was Lyle Taylor's moment. He could have gone down, but stays on his feet, and nothing is given. People moan about simulation, but maybe Lyle should have known better and thrown himself to the ground. It is sad that referees force you to do that.

"We went 2-0 down after Anthony miss-kicked trying to do his job, but it happens and we need to rally around him. When you are 2-0 down after conceding goals either side of half-time, it makes it tough. We had done a lot of work on our attacking play, we felt we needed to do that. For 25-30 minutes, there was a lot of intent, but without end product. As we all know, we tried to bring in a target man, but we could not get one good enough and one who wanted to play for us. We have what we have and we need to have more intricacy around the box. We did not have enough of that today."

Neal said it was too early to assess the seriousness of Callum Kennedy's injury after he was stretchered off in the first-half, following a clash of heads.

The full post-match reaction from Neal is on our iFollow channel.

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