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Wally praises resilient display after landmark win

Manager's post-match reaction after victory at Wycombe

22 December 2018

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Wally Downes saluted a dogged defensive performance after his first victory as AFC Wimbledon manager today.

During his post-match interview for iFollow, Wally was full of praise for a Wimbledon defence that was only finally breached in injury-time against a Wycombe side that came into the match seeking a seventh successive home win.

"It means an awful lot, it's great to get the first win under your belt, but for me the most encouraging thing was the way we performed," said Wally. "I thought we were very good today. We were professional and we put our bodies on the line when we had to do that and we played some good football.

"We played to a shape that was solid. We had been preparing for Wycombe in the latter part of the week, the boys took the information on. It threw us a little bit because they didn't play like we thought they would play at the start, but once we got the boys in at half-time we sorted that and the boys adapted well. They did roughly what we had asked them to do all week.

"I was impressed with the resilience that the back four showed because the referee gave an awful lot of free-kicks in their favour, which he may have thought were not a big deal because they were in their half against James Hanson. He had two men around him all of the time, but the referee always gave free-kicks against him. All of a sudden, they were launching balls into the box, which is not a problem, it's a great tactic to use from free-kicks like that, but I thought our defending was very solid. A couple of times when the ball did break kindly for them we put our bodies on the line and got in the way of things."

Wally also praised Kwesi Appiah and James Hanson with the forward pair proving to be a real handful for Wycombe on the day.

"I remember seeing Kwesi when he was a younger player and he was always very dynamic and that was exactly what I wanted from him today. He led the line really well. Kwesi and James Hanson today were very good. Their work-rate was terrific and their willingness to work the defence was top-notch."

A total of 600 Dons fans watched their team win on the road for just the third time in League One this season and Wally was delighted to reward their support.

"It's great to come back and hear the fans singing and shouting," added Wally. "They were brilliant at Charlton and they gave us a brilliant reception at the first home game. If we can give them six points over Christmas then I'm sure they will be even happier."

Click on the link above to watch the interview with Wally on our iFollow channel.

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