Dons boss Karl Robinson described his side’s 2-0 win over St. James’ Gate on Monday night as a ‘good exercise’ as the side brushed away the cobwebs in their first game in over two months.
As well as offering all of the players the opportunity to get vital minutes under their belt it also offered the coaching staff a chance to experiment with different systems of play.
Last season the Dons perfected their traditional 4-2-3-1 system, but at times boss Robinson admitted they needed a ‘Plan B’. In the later stages, and in the play-off second leg against Huddersfield Town, the Dons switched to a 4-3-3 formation and it is something Robinson is keen to develop.
Against St. James’ Gate he opted to place Stephen Gleeson, Darren Potter and Shaun Williams in the midfield roles and the results of what Robinson saw has given him plenty of hope for the season.
Speaking to MK Dons Player, Robinson said: “The main objective was to try and get the midfield working and I thought they were tremendous as a three. It took the 10 or 15 minutes to settle but I expected that and we need to tinker with a few things to make the system a bit more bullet-proof and then we’ll be ready for the season.
“It was a good exercise, I know a lot will be made of the fact that it was only 2-0 but we created more than enough chances to score more. It was good to see the players back out on the pitch, obviously we finished our season a lot later than a number of other clubs so this was our first game this season.
“You don’t want to go into your first game at 100mph and get injuries; we told them to be careful in challenges because we didn’t want any silly knocks. It was a good all round day for us, the locals were happy because they saw a good game and hopefully this game has contributed some money to the football club.”
Watch the full interview with Robinson on MK Dons Player.