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Wally: It could have gone either way

Post-match reaction from the manager

3 August 2019

Wally Downes praised Wimbledon’s second-half response in defeat today, but he was disappointed with the manner of the goals conceded.

Speaking after the 2-1 home loss, our manager said: “I thought they were better than us in the first-half, but there was only a set-piece between us. I think once we sorted out how we were going to approach the second-half we were in the ascendancy. To give away another set piece like that was disappointing.

“At half-time we just said to the boys that the game wasn’t going to change too much, they were getting the ball forward early and working off the second balls. We had to compete, make sure that we were strong, and cater for how they were playing. I don’t think we really did that in the first-half: they came out of the traps quicker and they got their game on top of ours. It was about us re-adjusting and making sure we asserted ourselves in the second-half, which I thought we did. We deservedly got the goal and I thought we were taking the game to them at that stage.

“It could have gone either way and I think Rotherham are going to be a good side in this division. They got on the front foot and it could have been a difficult afternoon, but we turned it around. That’s the real galling thing about it as we gave away another goal from a corner, which really should have been cleared. It wasn’t a great goal, it was a scuffed corner. I’d catered for someone in that position, it just bobbled through and we didn’t have anyone brave enough to get on it and get the ball away. I can take a lot from the second-half performance, but it’s a hammer blow at the end.”

Wally confirmed afterwards that Nathan Trott was ruled out due to a groin injury, but he was very pleased with the display of 22-year-old goalkeeper Nik Tzanev on his league debut.

“I though Nik was terrific," Wally added. "He came in and he was commanding. He made a great save early on and a good save towards the end. His kicking was terrific and I was really pleased for the boy. We knew that Nathan had a slight groin strain. He’s had a scan and the West Ham medical people are looking at it. We will go further forward next week.”

The full interview with Wally can be viewed by clicking on the link below.

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