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Neal’s post-match reaction after late setback

Manager's interview after 1-1 draw

7 April 2018

Neal Ardley lamented the manner of Scunthorpe's late equaliser today, but he said it's important the players pick themselves up for another home match in just three days.

Speaking during his post-match interview for iFollow, Neal said: "Their goal is really poor, it was stuff you would expect at schoolboy level, and that is what is disappointing. For most of the time today we defended brilliantly. The players are down in there because with five minutes to go the three points are on the board. I said to them, 'put your shoulders back'. I don't want their body language to slump because we have another game in three days. We've picked up a point, we move onto the next game, and we try our best to get the three points in the next game. We will continue to do that and it might turn into a great point.

"For most of the game, we limited them to hardly anything, maybe one or two attempts on target, but then from a straight ball down the channel, a run in behind, and a cross, it's a tap in. It was a poor goal to concede and unlike us. We defended well at Shrewsbury and against Fleetwood it was only the pitch that cost us the goal. We can't seem to keep that clean sheet, but our defending has given us a platform. We know our goalscoring has to be better, but we are trying our best to work really hard on getting players into good areas. We could have scored a couple of goals and that would have given us a platform, but when you are down there sometimes it does not go for you.

"I thought we were great in the first-half, but you are always concerned when you look at the bench. We've not got another centre-forward so you are always concerned about when Lyle, who ran himself into the ground, has run out of legs. In the last 10-15 minutes we just didn't have enough. They brought on three players and went 4-2-4. You are always concerned that in the last 15 minutes you have not got the options to bring someone on who will offer something different, but the boys who did play put in an unbelievable shift."

Neal added that Dean Parrett was taken off near the end as he was suffering with a toe injury and he was very pleased with the midfielder's contribution in just his second start since October.

The manager also had high praise for Dons supporters with their backing really lifting the team on the day.

"They were brilliant," Neal said. "I thought it was a brilliant piece that Erik did, both in the programme and on the website. It is exactly that. Whatever emotions you have got, or grieveances you have got, maybe with the situation or myself, for the good of the team you need to put them aside for six games. I thought the fans did that today. They were right behind us, they were cheering everything, and you could see it lift the players. It helped the players. If we can do our best in the last six games: the fans, myself and the players, and it turns out to be enough, then brilliant. If it is not enough, then everyone has played their part. I believe with this group and with these supporters behind us we can certainly give it a right good go."

The full iFollow interview is available to view the link above.


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