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Neal's post-match reaction after loss at Burton

Manager interviewed following defeat at the Pirelli Stadium

1 September 2018

Neal Ardley said that his side's first-half display against Burton surprised him and he warned the players afterwards that it cannot happen again.

A slow start at the Pirelli Stadium handed the initiative to the hosts and missed chances meant that there was no way back for the Dons.

Speaking during his post-match interview for iFollow, Neal said: "We have a very good squad, a good bench, but we have to make sure that the squad we've put together starts picking up points. That will show the faith that we've got in it. I'm disappointed, but I'm more disappointed with the way we approached the game in the first-half. We've been playing fast, attacking football, but we played nothing football in the first-half. I was surprised by what I saw and I just said to the players, 'that doesn't happen again'. We have to move on from it.

"I am really disappointed and really frustrated because we had not played like that all season. The first-half was as bad as we've been all season. We just decided that we would play a different way. We played slow, we played with no tempo, and the only time we changed pace in the first-half we created chances. At 1-0 down, we had two great chances to equalise and go in 1-1 at half-time, but we didn't take them. Goals change games and if we had gone in 1-1 at half-time I'm confident that we could have won the game."

Neal added that his side cannot afford to repeat the defensive lapses that were punished by Burton in today's defeat.

"You cannot defend the way we did today," said Neal. "The second and third goals killed us after we had come out with a game plan to have a right go, but it's the first time it's happened this season. All season we've lost games, but we've had a real go. We've lost games when we've played well. Today, we did not do a lot of things well and there were too many players that didn't play well.

"I think we've got a group that can have a really good season, but they need to believe that. We could have scored five today, but you cannot come away from home and defend like we did today. In the second-half we were on the front foot and looking like we would cause them problems, but then we conceded a really bad second goal. Those moments change games."

The full interview with Neal is available to watch on our iFollow channel.

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