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Neal's post-match interview after defeat at Shrewsbury

Manager sums up his thoughts after narrow loss

24 March 2018

Neal Ardley felt that Wimbledon's overall performance at Shrewsbury merited a point today and he believes the squad is strong enough to stay in League One.

Though disappointed with the outcome, Neal was encouraged by the display, and he said that referee Darren Drysdale missed a foul on Will Nightingale for the winning goal.

"I said in the last couple of weeks that it's about picking up points and we've come away with nothing, so we are very disappointed," Neal told our iFollow channel afterwards. "I thought we probably deserved a point from the game. There was not much in it, other than perhaps a 10-minute spell at the start of the second-half when they got a bit of momentum up and we were up against it. Unfortunately, they have got their goal and that margin has gone against us. The rest of the performance was exactly what I expected. We had our moments too, but we've come away with no points.

"I thought it would be tight. We knew they would change shape and they went with a 4-4-2. I thought there would only be one or two goals in the game because they are defensively tight and we were going to work our socks off without the ball. We've worked hard all week and I thought we got both sides of our game right. We created some good moments, worked hard, and other than that 10-minute spell there was very little in it.

"I believe we can stay above that line anyway, I believe we have the players in there. We have to stay physically and mentally strong. Last week we probably nicked a point, but this week we deserved a point and we didn't get it. We have home games coming up, we need to push, and try to do our best. I'm not going to put pressure on the boys. They need to just go and play football and I need to give them the freedom to do it. We need to give them the game-plan to do it and I'm sure if we give them that they will pick-up enough points."

Neal added he had watched the winning goal back afterwards and it strengthened his view that it was a foul on Will Nightingale.

"At the time I wondered why Will was almost facing completely the wrong way to the cross, I wondered why that happened," said Neal. "Will told me he was absolutely thrown out of the way and having watched the footage back he was. It's one that the referee has missed and unfortunately it has gone against us."

The interview with Neal can be viewed on our iFollow channel via the link above. Extended highlights, plus an interview with George Long, will be on our subscription channel tomorrow.


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