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Wally: We must show more belief

Post-match interview with the manager

1 January 2019

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Wally Downes was pleased with Wimbledon's second-half fightback at Portsmouth, but he has urged the squad to believe in themselves more.

The Dons threatened to earn a creditable point when Kwesi Appiah equalised 14 minutes from time, but Ronan Curtis was allowed space to head home the winner for Portsmouth.

Speaking during his post-match interview for iFollow, Wally said: "I thought we could have played better in the first-half on the ball. It was a bit of a body blow to let the goal in and that has obviously shaken our confidence a bit, but we got into some good positions in the first-half and didn't utilise the ball well enough. I told them to believe in themselves a bit more for the second-half and I think they played much better. We were on the front foot in the second-half.

"Portsmouth did not really get up a head of steam because I thought we matched them in the first-half. It was only the goal that was the difference between the two sides. I felt we could have played better, but if you come in 1-0 down at half-time then you are still in the game. The longer the game goes on at 1-0, the more the home side get anxious and the crowd get a bit on edge. That's what proved to be the outcome. When we got back to 1-1 I thought there was a chance of going on and winning it. I just think that we were ineffective in our defending for the second goal.

"We just made sure they believed in themselves (at half-time). With the run we've been on, it's no good winning games, drawing games, and looking solid, if you don't come out and take that confidence onto the pitch. That's the next step, they have to believe in themselves. We believe in them, but they have to believe in themselves.

"I cannot gauge the improvement, but I can say what's been happening while I've been here. They've certainly shown that they've got an appetite for the game, but it's about putting it all together now. We need to play well on the ball and show that determination and will to come back like they did today. Slowly, I think we are getting there."

Wally expressed his frustration with the manner of Portsmouth's winning goal. However, he was full of praise for the performance of 19-year-old Paul Kalambayi, who was handed his full league debut.

"I was disappointed with the winning goal because we had spoken about certain aspects of defending and it wasn't ideal to give that away," added Wally. "It would have been easy for Portsmouth to get up a head of steam in the last 10 minutes, but I think we got back at them and we had chances. If anyone was going to score again it was probably us.

"I thought Paul did superbly well today. He was strong and made one little error of judgement by the touchline, but he will learn from that and I thought it was a very good performance."

Wally's post-match interview is available to watch by clicking on the link above.

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