Karl Robinson labelled his side’s 2-1 Capital One Cup victory over Northampton Town on Tuesday as a 'good night all round'.
The Dons made it through to the second stage of the League Cup for the fifth season in a row thanks to goals from summer signings Ben Reeves and Jason Banton, in a game the men from MK1 dominated for large parts.
The League 2 Cobblers did pull one back with 13 minutes to go and later have chances to take the tie to extra-time but Robinson’s young side held on, much to the delight of the Liverpudlian manager.
Speaking after the game, the 32-year-old said: “That was a throughly enjoyable game and even if you were a neutral here I think you’d be very excited by what you’ve seen, mainly because of the style of football played by both teams and the pressure and intensity that comes with a local derby and a Cup game.
“It’s good that the game was played at a high tempo, it’s what we want. We build our momentum by good performances and I think for large parts today we were very, very good.
“There were one or two little things wrong but that was a very young team out there tonight and they conducted themselves very well against a Northampton team that I think will be very competitive in their League this season.
“I was very pleased with tonight. The players who came on made a difference and I thought it was a good day all round.”
Amongst the young starters was 17-year-old Dele Alli, who has been the subject of recent transfer speculation following his impressive performance away at Shrewsbury Town. After tonight’s game Robinson praised the talented midfielder who again shone in the middle of the park, along with goalscorer Reeves.
The Dons boss added: “It’s scary what Dele Alli can do at 17 years of age, I love working with him. He’s one of a number of players who have got tremendous futures and I’m blessed to be a part of their development.
“(Dele’s) not for sale in my opinion. The boys worth millions but I don’t want to sell him and the Chairman doesn’t want to sell him either. There will be a day where we’ll have to and he’s destined to play for a great club but he’s only doing what he’s doing because he’s playing regularly in the first team at the moment.
“It’s not just Dele, though. There’s George Baldock, Tom Flanagan who is a Northern Ireland Under-21 international, Brendan Galloway who was arguably man of the match against Tottenham and Giorgio Rasulo and Hugo who are away with England Under-17 at the moment.
“Ben Reeves as well, he’s a talent and he’s only going to get better over the time. He’s got a lot more to prove and he’s still not fit - I think that showed in the last ten minutes where he found it difficult to maintain his level of quality, but they are little things we’ll look to get right.”