MURRAY AND NEAL ARDLEY REACTION
Dons' loss must act as a learning curve - Murray
mansfieldtown.net, 16th January 2016
Mansfield Town manager Adam Murray says his players need to ‘do the nasty stuff’ better after their 3-1 defeat at the hands of AFC Wimbledon this afternoon.
Matt Green put the Stags into a half-time lead before second half goals from Lyle Taylor, Jon Meades and Adebayo Azeez wrapped up all three points for the Dons.
Stags dominated the first 45 minutes but were subjected to an early second-half onslaught from the Dons and Murray says his side need to learn how to cope more efficiently with the physical aspects of Sky Bet League Two.
“We need men; we need people to stand up. When you make an error, pull yourself out of it - that’s the game.
“We knew that they were going to come out (in the second half) and put us on the back foot, but we had to weather that. If we get through the first fifteen minutes, then it’s a different game. Too often this season we’ve shown that sometimes, when it goes against us, we struggle to get out of it,” Murray said.
“That’s a big learning curve for the group, they’ve got to understand that you don’t get everything your own way. You can’t come away from home and expect to dictate and dominate play for 90 minutes, you have to ride the tough patches. If we ride the first fifteen minutes, then it’s a different game.
"We get away with one goal, with the offside - that should be a wake-up call - we lack men in certain points in games and we lacked somebody who’s going to pull us together because you can’t get away with a chance like that without waking up.
“What we have to learn to deal with is the physical side of it. When you come up against teams where you’re going to spend large parts of the game doing the nasty stuff, we’ve got to learn to do that because we’re brilliant when everything’s going our way."
The gaffer says despite his hard work on the training ground all week preparing his troops for the today’s game, he can’t account for individual errors which handed the Dons the three points at The Cherry Red Records Stadium.
“We knew what their threats were; we knew they’d be physical, we knew they were going to be direct and they’d play with three six-foot-plus centre-forwards, so we knew what was coming. We’ve given away three individual errors; a set piece where somebody doesn’t mark their man, a back pass and we’ve been done by one ball [for the third goal].
“You can’t take that into consideration and you can’t deal with individual errors.”
Murray continued: “We go through certain games where we have periods where we totally shoot ourselves in the foot. If you’re getting outplayed by teams then you go: ‘okay, maybe we’re a million miles away’, but we’re killing ourselves at the minute. You need individuals to stand up and be men.”
After creating a number of chances in the first half, Murray says his side should have capitalised on their first half pressure and extended their lead.
“In the first half, we should’ve been 4-0 up - we had some good play, created a lot of chances and knew we had to start well [in the] second half.
“There’s some where we have to make the ‘keeper work, some we have to finish but we never looked under threat, we never felt like we were going to be under the cosh at all."
AFC Wimbledon manager Neal Ardley speaks to BBC Radio London:
"Credit to the boys, they had a lot to do at 1-0 down but the attitude they've shown over the last four of five games (has been great) and they were too strong for them.
"The attitude and the energy we've played with has been phenomenal.
"We've got to make sure that our second half of the season is much, much stronger than our first half."
AFC Wimbledon: "I got it wrong" says tinker man Ardley
by Tim Ashton, yourlocalguardian.co.uk
Neal Ardley admitted he got his tactics wrong in the first half, but played tinker man at half-time to get AFC Wimbledon all three points from a 3-1 win over Mansfield Town.
The Dons were a goal behind at half time after Matt Green put the Stags ahead from close range.
However, after replacing Adebayo Akinfenwa with Callum Kennedy at the break, and changing formation, Ardley’s men fought back through goals from Lyle Taylor, Jon Meades and Adebayo Azeez.
The victory, the Dons third in a row, lifts them to within a point of the League Two play-offs ahead of this weekend’s trip to Newport County.
Ardley said: “I got it wrong at the start. I picked the team on the back of how well they had been training.
“I am very big on attention to detail, and I want my players to know that if they train well, they have a chance of playing.
“So I went brave. We lost George [Francomb] and Jake [Reeves] was already out, so we didn’t have a central midfield and I did not want to upset the back four and take Meades out and put him in the middle.
“So I tried to go brave with three forwards, and we were disjointed in the first half and rightly so we came in behind.”
He added: “I took the brave decision of making a substitution, it was nothing against Adebayo, I just had a feeling that Tom [Elliott] would cause them problems in the second half.
“And credit to the boys, they had a lot to do at 1-0 down, but the attitude they've shown over the past four of five games has been great and they were too strong for them.”
Neal: credit to players
by Chris Slavin, afcwimbledon.co.uk
Neal Ardley admitted that he got his team selection wrong today - and the manager saluted his players for turning it around in dramatic fashion against Mansfield.
Speaking during an interview for Dons Player after the 3-1 win, Neal said: “We had to fight - that was the half-time message. In the first-half I tried to be brave, but it was disjointed. The first-half was all my fault. I am out on the training field every day and I believe that if the players train well consistently then they come into the reckoning for the team. I put a big emphasis on that. George Francomb was going to start in central midfield, but he got a dead leg in training.
“With Jake Reeves out we lacked central midfielders and with the back four having played so well recently I wanted to keep Jon Meades in there. I went brave with two wingers in midfield and Dannie Bulman with three forwards, but it did not work. I tried to stick with it to give it enough time to gel, but it didn’t and I had to make a call at half-time.
Read more at http://www.afcwimbledon.co.uk/news/article/neal-credit-to-players-2905673.aspx#FkyfhLt2zRCjjqmC.99
“I took responsibility for it and it was nothing to do with the players. At half-time I said to them ‘no excuses now, let’s go and play the way that we can’. I wanted us to use the flanks, penetrate them, and press high with our energy levels. The boys carried it out well and they were fantastic.
“Every time we went forward and went in behind we looked like scoring. The boys fought for everything and that’s all you can ask for at times. It was not pretty and it was scrappy at times, but from front to back we battled. The players deserve all the credit.”
Ade Azeez rounded off victory with another goal after coming off the bench - and Neal believes he has a bright future in the game.
“That is probably as good as I have seen him,” added Neal. “He came on and ran them ragged, they just could not cope with him. I think Ade could have had three during the time he was on. I’m delighted for him because he does a great job for the team. He has just asked if he can play for the Under-21s on Tuesday to keep his fitness up. He has got a great attitude.
“You look around at the lower leagues and there are not many 21 or 22-year-old strikers setting the place alight. Most of the strikers doing well are in their mid-20s with a bit more experience and I think that’s important. Ade has only just turned 22, I think he has a bright future and he is still learning the game.”
Neal Ardley confirmed afterwards that Jake Reeves missed the game afterwards with a hamstring injury.
The full post-match reaction from Neal Ardley is now on Dons Player and interviews with Lyle Taylor, Karleigh Osborne and Barry Fuller will follow tomorrow.
AFC Wimbledon boss Neal Ardley admits tactical tinkering was key to Mansfield victory
BY JON BATHAM, getwestlondon.co.uk
Dons chief admitted he got his first-half formation wrong before saluting his boys for a terrific second-half turnaround
Neal Ardley admitted he got his first-half tactics wrong following AFC Wimbledon’s stunning comeback win over Mansfield on Saturday.
Deprived of Jake Reeves and George Francomb by injury, the Dons’ boss opted to start 4-3-3 in search for a first ever League win over the Stags.
The plan backfired as Matt Green shot the visitors into an early lead and but for a smart save from James Shea and two outstanding challenges from skipper Barry Fuller Dons would have been sunk by the break.
Ardley had seen enough, sacrificing Adebayo Akinfenwa for left back Callum Kennedy.
The transformation was astonishing as leading scorer Lyle Taylor’s leveller was followed by goals for Jon Meades and Adebayo Azeez, sending Dons above Mansfield into eighth place.
“I got it wrong," said a candid Ardley.
“I went brave and played three forwards because we need wins, but it didn’t work.
“It was too attacking a formation with too many forward thinking players on the pitch and before you knew it a normally solid defence is looking a bit shaky and there were too many gaps in the middle of the park.
“So at half time I had to make the call and from minute one after that all the boys were phenomenal.”
The tactical switch aside the catalyst for the turnaround was Taylor’s controversially disallowed goal within two minutes of the restart, the score eventually chalked off as Mansfield were preparing to restart the game with Sean Rigg adjudged to have got a touch on the through-ball to Taylor, making the striker offside.
Undeterred, Taylor raced clear again barely a minute later to score one which did stand.
With Dons now in total charge Rigg fired narrowly over while Andy Barcham forced Brian Jenson to tip over midway through the half.
A succession of corners followed and from the third Meades rose highest to glance his header inside the far post.
There was one scare for Dons when Chris Clements’ effort rattled a post, but substitute Azeez, who had earlier missed a sitter within minutes of coming on, latched onto Elliott’s flick to finish stylishly with three minutes left and seal the points.
Ardley admitted the disallowed goal helped galvanise his side who he feels have had more than their fair share of such adversity in the last few games with Paul Robinson’s sending off against Bristol Rovers, later rescinded, and Barcham’s effort at Cambridge also ruled out.
“We had an injustice against Bristol Rovers an injustice at Cambridge and now this here and the boys have come through them all brilliantly,” he added.
”The fourth official came back and said all officials agree your 11 (Rigg) got the last touch to the ball, but I said ‘The linesman didn’t flag and the referee gave the goal and then because of the complaints of the opposition they somehow take the goal back, so I don’t get it.”
AFC Wimbledon star delighted to silence Mansfield Town defender at Kingsmeadow
BY JON BATHAM, getwestlondon.co.uk
Dons ace Lyle Taylor savours 3-1 victory after fiery encounter with Nicky Hunt
Lyle Taylor believes he extracted his own personal brand of justice on Mansfield and Nicky Hunt in particular in AFC Wimbledon’s 3-1 win on Saturday.
The Dons striker was sent off in stoppage-time in the reverse fixture last September after a coming together with Hunt, a decision Taylor alleged Stags’ manager Adam Murray promised to help overturn before reneging on the deal.
Taylor also revealed the pair exchanged words during the first half of Saturday’s action at the Cherry Red Records Stadium.
The Wombles’ leading scorer responded in the best way possible with the equaliser, sparking a second half turnaround which lifted Neal Ardley’s side above their vanquished rivals to eighth in the table.
“Nicky Hunt and I did have verbals beforehand,” he said.
“I was asked in the run-up to the game and I said there was no bad blood, but in doing what he did to have me sent off and then Mansfield saying they would help the club have it overturned because it was the wrong decision, but then not helping upset me and it has been on my mind ever since.
“Then in the first half he said I needed a lead because I was a dog, so he got what he deserved, no points. There’s no better way to silence somebody - that shut him up.”
Taylor’s strike was his 11th of an increasingly blossoming campaign, a run which started in the wake the red card for the clash with Hunt.
But while he can see the ban as a turning point Taylor retains a smoldering sense of injustice which looks set to run for some time yet.
“In all honesty that sending off was probably the best thing that has happened to me all season because it allowed me to get fully fit,” he added.
“But it still annoys me and it still angers me because while I can’t lie I caught him with my arm I didn’t throw an elbow. There were only 45 seconds left in the match - I’m not stupid.”
Advice from Barry pays off
by Chris Slavin, afcwimbledon.co.uk
Captain points the way forward from set-pieces
A tip from the captain culminated in Jon Meades emerging as a goal hero once again for AFC Wimbledon on Saturday.
Meades headed home his second goal in successive games after failing to score in his previous 25 appearances - and Barry Fuller (pictured) claimed a part in it!
“Jon scored a similar goal in training yesterday (Friday),” revealed Fuller during an interview with Dons Player after the game. “Just before it I said ‘if you get across the front from set-pieces you will score goals’. He scored in training and then did it in the match. We look good from set-pieces now. I think at the start of the season we were not aggressive enough attacking the ball, but now we are showing we are hard to deal with at that end.”
Read more at http://www.afcwimbledon.co.uk/news/article/advice-from-barry-pays-off-2909139.aspx#zgHyKsEiQEgvqMPv.99
Fuller believes Wimbledon can maintain the momentum of five matches unbeaten - three of those wins - if the team continue to play at a high tempo.
“We just need to keep the tempo we have been playing at in the last five games,” added Fuller. “We believe we are fitter than anyone and we can out-run teams. That is showing in our performances. In the first-half (against Mansfield) it was not going our way, but we dug in and stayed in the game. They had a couple of chances at 1-0, but we managed to stay in it.
“We had not played with enough tempo or quality, but we gave ourselves a great chance to take the game to them in the second-half and we did that. We just have to keep rolling our sleeves up. It’s not going to be pretty with some of the pitches at this time of year and the weather, but we believe we have characters in the squad and we can be ready for any game coming up.
“It shows how good the squad is because we managed without George Francomb and Jake Reeves. They are good players and big parts of the team. Both of them have been brilliant all season and it was a blow that they were missing, but the manager has built a good squad here. Whoever comes in has shown they are capable of playing in the team.”
Interviews with Barry Fuller, Lyle Taylor, Karleigh Osborne and Neal Ardley featured on Dons Player over the weekend, along with extended match highlights.
Latest | January 2016