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Wally’s post-match reaction after away defeat

Manager unhappy with first-half display

7 September 2019

Wally Downes described his team’s first-half display as ‘too passive’ after Wimbledon paid the price for a slow start today.

A goal from Marcus Forss turned out to be of consolation value only after a 2-0 deficit at the break and our manager said that his players were not physical enough in the first-half.

“We have a young squad, but they have to learn from it,” said Wally. “When you come into any game, anywhere, you need to put your mark on the game and be physical. You need to win your battles and then you can play your football afterwards, but you can’t have it the other way around.

“I don’t mind surrendering the ball occasionally away from home because we are good on the counter, but we were certainly too passive physically. We actively encouraged them to play balls through the middle because we are strong with three centre backs, but they need to be on their game, on people’s shoulders, and stronger than they were today.

“We conceded soft goals. We were aware of how they played and we set-up our team to counteract that. The two goals came from exactly the situations we were hoping for. We were not strong enough physically to get a challenge on the ball. We blocked up the middle, hoping they would pass it wide, so that we would have the aerial dominance if they were getting crosses in, but as they passed through the middle, everything we had worked on all week, including getting physical and making sure we got challenges in, wasn’t there today. I was not happy about it.

“We wanted to keep the ball in their half as much as we could (in the second-half) and the three centre forwards we put on made it more difficult for them to get out. Subsequently, they went longer. We battled more in the second-half, we were physical and energetic. I didn’t tell them not to be physical in the first-half. That was disappointing and we had to sort it out at half-time.”

The full video interview with Wally can be viewed below.

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