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Interviews

Wally praises reaction to his half-time team talk

Manager's interview after dramatic draw at Luton

23 April 2019

Wally Downes said that he delivered a half-time message to his players to be more ‘robust’ in the second-half at Luton Town.

The Dons bounced back from a 2-1 deficit thanks to a last-gasp Steve Seddon leveller, which came after Wimbledon had battled admirably to stay in the game against the Champions-elect.

Speaking during his post-match interview for iFollow, Wally said: “It’s hard enough to win with 11 men, let alone 10, so I’m not telling them to be overly physical and foul people, but the younger players coming through have to learn. We played tonight against a team that’s going into the Championship: they pass the ball, they are organised, they run hard, but they are physical. They win physical battles and in the first-half I thought we were a bit short in winning physical battles. We had a bit of a one-way conversation at half-time and I felt that we came out in the second-half and we were far more robust. As well as playing well, we matched them physically, which I don’t think we did in the first-half.

“We went toe to toe with them. We came to their place and we kept going until the end. We rode our luck a little bit, but that’s going to happen when you come to the Champions-elect. We had players blocking the ball, we had goalkeepers saving it, and strikers working hard. If you keep going you get your just desserts and we were worth the draw tonight.”

A total of 733 travelling Dons watched their team battle back in dramatic style and Wally was delighted that their support was rewarded.

“The fans support us and we have to make sure we give them something to support,” added Wally. “When you score a goal in the 93rd minute they couldn’t be any happier, no matter what the score, either 3-2 or 2-2. To do that for a group of travelling fans is fantastic. I made all the team get together and go over there to the fans. We went over there together and we saluted the fans for coming. They had sang their hearts out against 10,000 and we made as much noise. To give the fans that 93rd minute goal is fantastic. It makes us feel great, to be able to do it, and I know how much it means for any fans to get that, especially ours.”

The full interview with Wally can be viewed by clicking on the link to our iFollow channel above.


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