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Neal’s post-match interview

The manager's reaction on our iFollow channel

3 November 2018

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Neal Ardley summed up his frustration after the Dons conceded two second-half goals from set-pieces against Shrewsbury today.

Speaking during an interview for iFollow after the 2-1 defeat against Shrewsbury, Neal said: "We've done, I reckon, 20 hours on set-pieces in the last couple of weeks. We've gone through every single facet of them that we can. We scored from one today, which was something we had worked on, which is great. With their first goal, we had just come under pressure after they had changed their shape and we were adjusting to it, but we were nowhere near the first contact. There was nowhere near enough desire to win that. The player who was meant to be marking in the box isn't anywhere near his player.

"You can have meetings, you can talk, you can train, but when it comes to it and people have to stand up and be counted, they're not. We've conceded another two set-pieces. As staff, it's difficult, I will have to take responsibility because they are my players. I brought them into the club, but you work really hard on it all week, and then you watch them not do it on a Saturday. It can cost you a game and that's tough to take. We haven't lost a game through shape or team selection.

"We lost Rod McDonald minutes before through injury, and we lost James Hanson 10 minutes into the second-half. They are big blows, but we've lost the game through our inability to defend set-pieces. I actually question the desire to do it, and the sad part is that for a Wimbledon team, it's not acceptable."

Neal added that he felt his side should have had much more to show for their efforts than just the one goal today.

"We were not good enough in both boxes. We had enough chances, we had done loads of attacking play. You can put players in positions, do patterns of play, you can create chances, but having the desire and composure to score them, it's hard to put that into the players. We've had enough chances to score three or four goals today, but we haven't, and it's the same old story that we can't defend set-pieces.

"It is hard because I don't want to slaughter the players, I don't want to come across as that type of manager. I don't want to stand here and defend myself because I can't. It leaves me somewhere in the middle, just to tell you what happened in the game, that everyone can see. It's the same old problems."

The full post-match reaction from Neal can be viewed on our iFollow channel by clicking on the link above. An interview with Terell Thomas is also on iFollow.

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