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Karl: Strong opening performance

3 August 2013

Karl Robinson referred to his side’s performance as ‘strong’ after their 2013/14 League 1 opener with Shrewsbury Town finished goalless.

MK Dons got off the mark on Saturday afternoon by taking a point from Shrewsbury’s Greenhous Meadow, in one of only two 0-0 draws played out on the opening weekend of the new Football League season.

Robinson’s men did have chances to take all three points, most notably through substitute George Baldock towards the end, although they do have goalkeeper David Martin to thank for preserving an opening day clean-sheet - the 27-year-old shot-stopper making two superb second half saves to deny John Marsden and Aaron Wildig.

Despite not beginning the year exactly how they would have liked, Robinson was satisfied. with the result and speaking after the game, he said: “I’m happy. This is a team that scored 10 goals in three games and to keep a clean sheet against them is pleasing.

“It was a very difficult game today, it was one of those games where it was just really hard to get going. It was difficult to play out, it was difficult to do what we wanted to do and they were very hard to break down.

“But we’ve come here and got a point away from home in the first game of the season and I’m sure 25 percent of teams in this League would swap their results for ours.

“I thought collectively as a group we looked strong and although they were were the better side for 15 minutes in second half, we rode the storm and finished stronger.

“It was a strong first game of the season. I wouldn’t say it was great and I thought a draw was fair but we’ve come here, kept a clean sheet and we’ll build on it.”

Robinson and his team were dealt a blow ahead of kick-off when it was confirmed winger Daniel Powell would miss the game through an injury which looks set to sideline him for the next couple of months.

The Dons’ manager, though, was pleased with the performance of his replacement, 17-year-old Dele Alli, along with substitute Baldock who went closest to scoring for the men from MK1 soon after his arrival.

Robinson added: “Powell’s out for just touching three months probably, it’s a big one. It’s a difficult one for us because the kids been fantastic in pre-season but we have to move on with it. 

“Collectively as a group we looked strong today but I thought Dele was excellent and George too when he came on. I’m pleased with how we did and where we’re going.

“I’m not going to back away from playing young players and I think it’s important to do that. I think it’s important we use our youth and energy and enhance it.”

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