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Neal shocked by standard of performance at Bury

Manager's post-match reaction after tonight's away defeat

6 February 2018

By Chris Slavin

Neal Ardley said that his side's display at Bury was their worst this season and he apologised to supporters afterwards.

In his post-match interview, Neal said: "I am sorry for the first-half performance. I did not see it coming. It was hard to try and change it around, to get us back in the game because so many players were out of sorts and not doing their jobs. It has not been us, as of late, and it was a shock to see it happen. Second-half was better, a bit more like Wimbledon, but we've not been able to pick anything up on the road in the last two games, and that is disappointing.

"I felt that the first-half was as bad as we've been all season; the team shape, the lack of communication, we were at sixes and sevens. We had too many players not doing their jobs. They ran us ragged at one end, won battles at the other, and we missed any chances we did have. They were getting in wide too often and we did not help each other. There were a number of things wrong. Even when we got back to 1-1, which we did not deserve, the naivety to not see the jobs through until half-time, get in at 1-1, and then try to win the game, was poor. We have to keep chasing the games, which is tough, and we've had to do that in the last two games."

The second-half introductions of Lyle Taylor, Harry Forrester, and George Francomb helped Wimbledon to produce an improved display, but Neal added that his side did not deserve a point.

"We had to make decisions," said Neal. "Some of them had muscle tightness and soreness and we felt on a heavy pitch we could not risk them. We felt we had no option in the second-half to try and get us back in the game, so we took a gamble and put them on. Thankfully, they have come through without injury.

"At half-time, we challenged them to get out of this mess and take the game to them. We wanted them to do it together, not as individuals. The second-half was better; we hit the post and had one cleared off the line. I felt though that Bury deserved the win for their first-half performance and we did not deserve to get anything from the game."

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