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An anxious performance

Ardley reacts to Sutton draw

7 December 2019

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An anxious performance

Ardley reacts to Sutton draw

7 December 2019

Neal Ardley felt the players performed with anxiety during our 1-1 draw with Sutton.

Wes Thomas gave us the lead inside 15 minutes, but we struggled to kick on throughout the remainder of the match and were pegged back with 14 to play by Harry Beautyman.

And Ardley was left frustrated with a disjointed display.

“I saw an anxious team,” he said. “We turned into 11 individuals because of it and it looked like people were passing the buck.

“It’s difficult when you see the players clamming up and too many went missing as the game wore on.

“They didn’t want the ball and weren’t brave enough, so we got progressively worse as the match continued.”

The boss puts the anxiety down to a desperation to bring an end to our winless run, which has now been extended to five league matches.

“When you’ve not won in a few, you try and see the game out,” said Ardley.

“We’ve got to cure the nerves and anxiety. We need to find a result, lift our spirits and build momentum from there.

“Mentality is a big thing. We’ve gone from free-flowing and trusting each other to having that bit of doubt.

“We’ve become an average team and we have to turn that around quickly because we have another nine games between now and mid-January.

"Our season could fade away if we don’t, and a win will do us the world of good.”

Ardley admits it wasn’t a fine spectacle at Meadow Lane, but hoped we’d do enough to see the match out.

“It was a horrible game to watch,” he conceded. “It’s rare I’ve said that because we’ve been quite entertaining at times this season.

“If we kept a clean sheet, I’d have been here saying 'it’s a poor performance but at least we’re back on the winning trail', but that wasn’t to be.

“If the players perform like they did today, without taking responsibility and showing bravery to do what they’re good at, it becomes tough here.

“After where we were a few weeks ago, I’m frustrated that we’re at this point now. It’s my job to find the answers.”

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