In the wake of yesterday’s 3-0 defeat at home to AFC Wimbledon, here are some views on the game from the Dons’ manager Neal Ardley and a few of their fans.
Having finally ended a seven-match winless run, Ardley was delighted with his players, particularly their second half performance.
“The players were really down after the 1-0 defeat at Dagenham on New Year’s day. I was really down and the staff were really down,” he said.
“I had to go home and pick myself up. I started reading a couple of books to find out how to reignite my leadership skills. I did a bit yesterday with the boys and put smiles on faces, and we got a performance today.”
“I am trying to put together a high performance team. I have looked at things and have criticised myself about shape and trying to commit more bodies forward.”
“Previously we didn’t have enough thrust in the penalty box. We didn’t feel that we were getting enough players forward in a 4-4-2, a 4-4-1-1 or a 4-4-3 formation.
Because of that we decided to sacrifice what we had out wide and go with another centre forward. In the three games that we have played 3-5-2 we have looked like scoring a lot more than we did previously.”
“In the first-half today I felt that we were a bit static and didn’t run in behind them or penetrate enough. But we talked about that at half-time, and in the second-half we tore them to shreds.”
“It was amazing,” said the Dons’ boss.
The Wimbledon fans were as chuffed as you would expect.
The following extracts are taken from the Old Centrals’ Repository.
oxford don wrote:
‘Ardley’s comments on the official site suggest he’s aware of the specifics of fans’ criticisms and has acted accordingly. Good on him.’
Milton Keynes Citizen wrote:
‘At last. It was painfully obvious we needed to be more attack-minded.’
‘Absolutely battered them.’
roger the womble wrote:
‘Wycombe were a poor side and clearly lacking confidence. Having said that, we were much improved.’
Surbiton Womble wrote:
‘Highlight of the season. They were piss poor and dirty. Pell and Sammy were brilliant in midfield.’
‘Second half we gained confidence going forward and played without fear. The first goal may have been lucky to go in, but from that moment there was only one winner.’
‘Stats say it all, 13 shots against Wycombe’s 3, even if they are provided by drunks from the press association :)’
‘58% Possession proves we were fantastic, mullered them.’
‘We were the slightly better team in the first half but Wycombe had a couple of dangerous players. In the second half we were still better but had to rely on a scrappy goal to go in front. I had visions of them scoring an equally scrappy goal in the 88th minute to equalise, but in fact the gulf between the teams got wider as the match progressed.’
‘Once we got in front I thought we played with renewed confidence and were totally dominant.’
Chres Sralah wrote:
‘A bit of a *meh* first half, but once we got our noses in front, we looked really good and Wycombe lost shape & desire. Ainsworth’s substitutions didn’t work, and the first one was greeted with a chorus of ‘you don’t know what you’re doing.’
‘Billy Knott was subbed. I knew he was on the pitch but I didn’t really notice him.’
Alex the Don wrote:
‘Great today. A fairly even first half, with us having the slight edge. 2nd half we absolutely bossed the game and could have scored more. Great view from the corporate box. Wycombe fans thought our away support was really good (they don’t normally open the whole stand) and they couldn’t believe how tall our players are.’
dorking afc don wrote:
‘What’s Ainsworth on? How can he say ‘we were absolutely bossing it’? Was he at the game?’
Jog on wrote:
‘Can we play you every week … Can we play you every week?’
Next Game: Morecambe v Wycombe – Sat 11th Jan – 3.00pm