Ardley: Basically speaking, we failed and need to put that right - that's a given (From Richmond and Twickenham Times)
Contact us: Got a photo? Text 'SLPICS' to 80360. Got a story? Call the newsdesk: 020 8744 4260
Ardley: Basically speaking, we failed and need to put that right - that's a given
AFC Wimbledon boss Neal Ardley wants his charges to get involved with the mucky side of football after a performance at Exeter City that left much to be desired.
The League Two 2-0 defeat at St James Park on Saturday was, according to Ardley, the result of the players thinking all they had to do to win was turn up.
Now, with Scunthorpe United coming to the Cherry Red Records stadium this weekend, Ardley is demanding a refocusing on the “givens” of football.
He said: “Exeter City started really well, but having watched the video back with the players, I think they were stunned at how bad we were and that we did not do anything as a team that we work on regularly.
“There was an element of complacency, and they will admit that. Ultimately it is a new group of players and what we were probably guilty of is turning up and thinking that was enough.
“I told the players, ‘I have played in the games when you cannot get near anyone and everything you do is the wrong decision’, but it comes because you’re all thinking about doing your own bit rather than as a group.
“When you have a back four playing as individuals you will get opened up, when the midfield do their own thing, you’ll always get opened up – you have to work as units and groups, and that is the message.”
He added: “I want the lads to have self-belief, but you also need to believe that if you don’t do any of the mucky side of the game, if you don’t work hard and do any of the givens, that belief is immaterial because you won’t win games without the uglier side of the game.
“The givens have to be the basis of any performance, so if we’re not great on any given day, we still have a great chance.”
The defeat is the Dons’ first in the league, following a draw at Torquay and three points over Wycombe Wanderers, so it is still early days.
Ardley said: “There will be ups and downs early in the season, because although the pre-season went quite well and the season started ok, ultimately it is a new group of players.
“This league is unforgiving and there is not much between the teams. We can beat can the best team in the league, if there is one, and they can beat us.
“It is all about who can be the most consistent and all mangers will say that there has to be a base of the givens in every performance to be consistent.”
Comments are closed on this article.