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Wally praises ‘superb fightback’ after home draw

Manager's reaction after picking up a point against Rochdale

8 December 2018

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Wally Downes praised his side's battling qualities after the Dons came from behind to earn a point against Rochdale.

During his post-match interview for iFollow, Wally spoke in upbeat terms about the determination shown by the team to get back into the match.

"It was a superb fightback in the second-half," said Wally. "I thought we played to plan in the first-half, but we made a slight error and we got punished for it. I knew that we wouldn't have as much of the ball, but we were looking to beat them on the counter-attack. I thought in the second-half that when we had to push on, we did it really well.

"The fans were behind the boys, they could see that the players were having a battle and a go out there. They are very forgiving and I think they could see that the team cared today in the second-half and they performed how I wanted them to in the first-half. When they needed to, they increased it and I think the fans saw that.

"If we hadn't turned it around I would have had to be working on team-work, motivation, getting them to play for the club and for me, but half an hour at Chelsea and today has shown me that I don't have to worry about their spirit and motivation. We can work on the football fully next week. They've set the standard and shown how determined they are not to lose and how willing they are to do what I'm asking them to do. They've set that standard and I'm not going to let them drop below that. If they do, then that's a problem they've got because they've shown me what they can do."

Substitute Andy Barcham's impact earned Wimbledon a point, the winger striking his first goal of the season in timely fashion, and Wally Downes praised the quality of his finish.

"We did some work on set plays, not a great deal, but the goal wasn't a training ground thing," added Wally. "It was a ball into the box and it was about having people with a desire to go in where it hurts. Andy Barcham was around there and when the ball is bouncing around it needs some quality and he was cool enough to put the ball in the position he put it in. Anywhere else, the goalkeeper saves it, but he picked his spot and stuck it in there, it was superb. They were all superb. James Hanson was fed by players and they were supported by the midfield. James worked very hard for the team, but he was ably supported. Everybody played their role today."

The full post-match interview with Wally is now on our iFollow channel.

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