By Chris Slavin
Neal Ardley summed up his disappointment with Wimbledon’s defending at Plymouth after watching the Dons concede four goals at Home Park.
The manager was encouraged by aspects of his side’s display in the 4-2 loss with Lyle Taylor’s double having threatened to turn it around in the second-half.
Speaking during his post-match interview for iFollow, Neal said: “It is about points at this stage of the season and we are disappointed that we did not bring any home. We are disappointed that we have conceded four goals, that does not happen often for us. We were good in other aspects; the fighting spirit was there, we kept going until the end. The boys care, I know that for a fact. We’ve had a manic 10 days. We have gone from heroes to villains in 10 days. We need to stick together, collect our thoughts, and do what we need to do. We are trying our best to do what we need to do in the last 14 games.
“I am not going to single anyone out here, but when you are in the ascendancy and you clear the ball, you want to know it is dealt with, but it wasn’t. Within 10 seconds it is one versus one with our goalie (for the fourth goal). There is stuff that was wrong, but there was other stuff that was positive within the team; the energy they showed and the way they kept going.
“Plymouth are a team in good form and we found ourselves a bit stretched in the first-half. I think we were so eager to do well. We had a long chat yesterday. We were so positive going into the game about how we were going to put our stamp down and play the game, but we ended up forgetting to play. We ended up rushing a little bit. Even then, we had two or three good chances in the first-half.”
Neal thanked the 246 Dons fans at Home Park for their support in what was a second successive Tuesday night away fixture – and a long way from home too.
“It’s remarkable,” said Neal after being asked about the support on the night. “We always go over to clap them because we appreciate what they’ve done. I know sometimes they’ve been frustrated because they’ve travelled a long way and we’ve not brought anything home, but they were all brilliant. We appreciate their support and we really want to turn it around for them.
“The boys really care, I know that I care, it is my club. I know we are going to face some criticism for losing four games on the trot, that is natural. We will carry on and do our best. It is going to be tough and we have to get points on the board. Everyone is scrapping and fighting. We have to get some naivety out of our play. We have good players, but we need to have a strong mentality, and we are working on that. If we can put that together, we feel we can pick-up points, but it is a tough league and there are so many teams in form.”
The full interview with Neal is available via the link to our iFollow channel above.