‘We lost our heads’ says Dons boss Neal

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Bruce Archer

NEAL Ard­ley branded AFC Wim­ble­don’s open­ing-day de­feat to Ply­mouth a re­al­ity check and claimed his play­ers lost their heads af­ter go­ing be­hind.

Ply­mouth debu­tants Gregg Wylde and Graham Carey struck won­der goals ei­ther side of half-time af­ter the Dons had started the bet­ter side.

Wylde, a free sign­ing from St Mir­ren, opened the scor­ing on 40 min­utes be­fore Carey, who joined from Ross County, bagged his first Pil­grims goal four min­utes af­ter the break to seal the win.

“To win games at this level you need to be a team,” said Ard­ley.“We were a team for the first-half, and we were prob­a­bly a team for the last 15 min­utes but in be­tween that we had a 25-minute spell where we were 11 in­di­vid­u­als.

“We lost our heads, we face ad­ver­sity and the boys so want to do well and think they can do well but at that point they saw the game slip­ping away and that can go two ways. One way is to lose your head a bit and we had 11 that lost their heads.

“It was not the re­sult, not the per­for­mance, not any­thing. It’s a lit­tle bit of a re­al­ity check.”

New Ar­gyle boss Derek Adams – who took over from John Sheri­dan in the sum­mer – was in the stands watch­ing AFC Wim­ble­don last week­end and claimed the home­work had them ready for their phys­i­cal­ity.

The Dons started with new sign­ings Tom El­liott and Lyle Tay­lor ei­ther side of Ade­bayo Ak­in­fenwa in a three-man at­tack, but af­ter a fast start the trio faded.

“That wasn’t a sur­prise,” said Adams.“We had seen it be­fore, we had watched videos and the play­ers were primed, we knew what was com­ing. We didn’t ex­pect it to come in the droves it did at the start of the game.

“They had more pos­ses­sion but that’s al­ways go­ing to hap­pen away from home, we didn’t change any­thing be­cause we knew as the game went on that we had the play­ers in the team to open up the op­po­si­tion and that’s how it panned out.”

Af­ter play-off de­feat to Wy­combe last term the Scot is keen get the ball rolling early on and be­lieves this re­sult can set up another pro­mo­tion as­sault.

“It’s al­ways im­por­tant, for any team, you want to win your first game,” Adams added.

“And with a new man­ager at a club you want to get off and run­ning as soon as pos­si­ble, we’ve been able to do that.

“We want to push on now, there are a lot of good sides in the league, but we’ve started very well and want to use that mo­men­tum.

“For the two boys to score goals on their de­but, and the per­for­mances of the oth­ers who made their de­buts, it is out­stand­ing.”

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