Mathias Kouo-Doumbe started for only the fifth time this season on Saturday but once again proved to be a solid replacement for the injured Jon Otsemobor.
The 33-year-old Frenchman once again put in an assured performance as the Dons kept their 11th clean-sheet of the season against Hartlepool United, their first in five games.
And Kouo-Doumbe, who made his 285th Football League appearance during the game, was pleased with the result and the team’s performance, as Karl Robinson’s team climbed within two points of top spot in League 1.
Speaking to MK Dons Player, he said: “I thought everybody looked really sharp, especially when we lost the ball everybody was pressing all the time. At the end of the game, maybe a little bit of tiredness crept in, especially for me personally, but I think that was down to how well we played the football in the first half.
“In the first half we looked really good and we managed to create a lot of chances but in the second they came back into it and looked a lot stronger with their long balls and they spent more time in our half of the pitch.”
With seventeen League places separating the two sides prior to kick-off, most would have the suspected the men from MK1 to win comfortably. However the Pools provided stiff opposition for the Dons, something former-Paris Saint Germain trainee Kouo-Doumbe is used to, with teams continuously making things difficult for the Dons at stadiummk, but admits it doesn’t fear him or his teammates.
“Teams are obviously doing their homework on us and they come here to stop us playing but I think it showed that with the size of the pitch that we’ve got and the talent in our team we’re confident of beating anybody who comes here.
“We weren’t too frustrated with the scoreline because we still got the three points. During the game, though, you do get a little bit anxious when it’s only 1-0 because you’re always at danger of conceding and losing two precious points, maybe even more.
“We were searching for the second goal to make the game a little bit more comfortable but unfortunately it didn’t come, however we’re happy with the three points.”
The 2012/13 season has been an inconsistent one for the 6ft 1in versatile man, who had to wait until mid-October for his first start of the campaign after picking up an injury during pre-season. However, Kouo-Doumbe added that he just enjoys being able to play football, whenever that may be.
“It was really nice being back out on the pitch playing and I really enjoyed it. Like I said earlier, I felt a bit rusty but I think overall my performance wasn’t too bad.
“As a footballer you just want to be playing so I’ve got an opportunity now with Jon (Otsemobor) injured and then we’ll see what happens after that.
“We’ve got some good players coming up, especially Doncaster Rovers away which will be a great game and so we need to make sure in these next couple of weeks we’re ready for it.”