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Boss happy with pre-season

7 August 2012

MK Dons manager Karl Robinson was pleased with his side’s pre-season campaign despite finishing with a loss to Premier League Fulham.

Hugo Rodallega’s 81st minute goal was enough to win the game for the away side but the Robinson was keen to take the positives from the Dons’ final friendly of the summer.

Speaking after the game the Dons boss said: “I thought we were better today than we were against Norwich. With 70 minutes gone we’ve covered more ground than we had in the whole game on Friday so obviously the game was more intense.

“It was a silly goal to concede and it’s lost us the game in the end but they are a Premier League team who I thought conducted themselves in a very professional manner and so you’ve got to show them tremendous respect for that.”

Although the game saw the Dons concede for the first time in pre-season, it also saw them fail to score for the third time but Robinson isn’t concerned and is pleased with the performance of his forwards.

“People are obviously going to look at the fact we haven’t scored in the last three games but we’ve created chances and looked lively. As time goes by the sharpness will come, but at the moment the most important thing is the players have worked on their shape, their fitness and our tactics.

“I thought Ryan Lowe made a difference for us and Charlie MacDonald worked ever so hard early on. Collectively as a team I didn’t think we deserved to lose.

“We’ve still got people who weren’t available for tonight to come back so I think we looked good and very strong.”

Robinson explained Daniel Powell missed out through illness while Mathias Kouo-Doumbe, Jabo Ibehre and Jon Otsemobor were all rested as a precaution and he is hopeful they will be fit and ready to go on Saturday against Cheltenham.

Three players who did feature were MacKenzie, Williams and Martin and the Dons’ longest-serving manager was keen to praise his defensive trio for their performance against the Cottagers.

“I thought David Martin was excellent and both Gary MacKenzie and Shaun Williams were fantastic too. I need them to calm down now before I get a bid in for them before the season starts.

“However, man for man I didn’t think they were much better than us despite them being a good Premier League team so I’m really happy with them all.”

Irish midfielder Williams missed the Dons’ best chance of the game, failing to convert from the penalty spot in the 69th minute after Chadwick was fouled but Robinson is far from angry with his number one penalty taker.

“I thought it was a fantastic ball by Ryan Lowe for the penalty and then you’d have put your mortgage on Shauny scoring with the quality that he possesses.

“Weirdly he was injured and then ran the length of the pitch to take it, that’s the type of character he is.

“Missing a penalty is just one of them things and he’s got nothing to apologise for. I’m not mad at him for missing, especially when know how well he took them consistently last season.” 

The Dons finish the pre-season having scored 19 goals and conceding only one in the six games they have played.

Robinson added: “I’m happy with all the games as a whole as well. We have shown against two Premier League teams that we are not a bad side. Damien and his staff have been brilliant over the course of the last five weeks and we feel fresh and ready so I think it’s been excellent.”

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