Ardley's confidence predicted an AFC Wimbledon comeback against Burton Albion
Despite being a goal-down and losing their way, AFC Wimbledon boss Neal Ardley remained confident his team would take all three points off 10-man Burton Albion.
Goals from Michael Smith, Jack Midson – his first of the season – and Andy Frampton, over-turned the Brewers’ 1-0 lead at the interval to seal a 3-1 win.
Moreover, Saturday’s three points at the Cherry Red Records stadium lifted the Dons back to third in the League Two table.
However, following the first half dismissal of Marcus Holness and the Brewers goal soon after, there was little at half-time to suggest any turnaround was possible.
Ardley said: “I was confident we could get back into the game, although there were loads that we were doing wrong after the red card and goal.
“We lost our composure. They sat with two banks of four and defended deep, and all of a sudden it was a case of ‘oh, what do we do?’ and our players started wandering and doing things wrong.
“Our two centre backs were making one centre forward and they were not dealing with him.
“We were slow in our passing and letting them regain their shape and then when we lost it, we were slow in our recovery and before you know it, you could not tell the difference between who had 10 men and who had 11.
“The more it went on, the more unsettled the crowd got and the players started thinking: ‘What are we doing?’”
Ardley brought on Chris Arthur and George Porter at the break, and they turned out to be the catalyst behind the comeback.
He said: “We needed to tinker with their mindset and brought a couple of personnel on.
“My attitude at half-time was we might as well lose this 3-0 – let’s go out there, have a go at them and see if they can handle it.”
The Dons go to Cheltenham this weekend.
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