NEAL Ardley has challenged his AFC Wimbledon squad to bridge the gap between themselves and League Two leaders Chesterfield.
Goals from Gary Roberts and Sam Hird saw the Dons go down 2-0 in Derbyshire on Saturday to slip to seventh in the table.
But boss Ardley wants his side to close on promotion-chasing Chesterfield by the time they visit Kingsmeadow in March.
"We wanted to come here and have a go," he said.
"I could have tactically shut-up shop and I think we would have given them a tighter game if I had gone down that route.
"But I had a chat with the boys and I think we deserved to have a go given our recent form and I would have regretted it more if I hadn't. I think clearly the best team won and that's the benchmark for us now.
"I said to the boys that next time we play them can that gap be a bit tighter? We had chances but all in all the best team won the game and I've no complaints about the result.
"I've learned we are where we are, that's one of the best teams in the league if not the best and we are not there as a team in the way we pass and move, our work ethic at times is not where there's is and they are things we aim to put right."
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