By Chris Slavin
Neal Ardley praised the whole of his squad after experiencing completely different emotions to the previous time AFC Wimbledon visited Bradford City at the end of last season.
The Dons marched to a 4-0 win today, in stark contrast to last season’s 3-0 defeat, which closed out the 2016/17 campaign on a low note.
Speaking during his post-match interview for iFollow, Neal said: “We were in a spiral last year and we were not in great form. They were buzzing and that shows you. Now we’ve come here in good form and they’ve had a little bit of a tough time. It just shows you that managers can do tactics and pick teams, but it is only wins that can bring confidence to a team. At the moment, we are feeling good about ourselves and Bradford maybe aren’t. You just need to grind out that result and get going again. I still believe they can be in the play-offs at the end of the season.
“We were playing against a team that had been struggling a little bit with confidence and we’ve been there ourselves, we know how difficult it is. We had a good team-talk and we wanted to stick with the same system. I thought they might play three-up, try to pin us in, and be brave at home. We talked to the lads and said, ‘how do you want to deal with it?' The boys gave it some answers and we said, ‘let’s execute it’. To put a performance in like that, it needs 11 players on top of their game and today they were. It is a real bonus to win by that many.
“We’ve had loads of games when we could have scored four or five, but have only scored one. Today, we had four or five chances and scored four. You need that to win 4-0. The boys had trained really well during the week, but most importantly the training with the subs and the young lads had been very good. During the week, the subs and the young lads beat the first-team in a game and they were better on the day. It was a little bit of a wake-up call because when you are on a good run of form you need to train better and keep going harder. I feel that I can play any of them at the moment, they seem like they are in a good place. There is still a long way to go; we are setting little targets and chipping away at them.”
Cody McDonald was back among the goals with a bang today, striking twice in the second-half, and Neal was quick to praise his performance.
“I’m delighted for Cody,” added Neal. “He has put in a real shift lately, but he has not popped up with the goals that he maybe deserved. Today he has and it was a delight for him in a really good team performance.”
The full interview with Neal is on our iFollow channel.