Karl Robinson praised his players for their efforts following the Dons’ enjoyable 2-2 draw at UCD on Tuesday evening.
Just 24 hours after beating St. James’ Gate, the Dons made the trip to the UCD Bowl to take on the Airtricty Premier League side and despite falling two goals behind early on, the men from MK1 bounced back to preserve an unbeaten start to pre-season.
And while Robinson was pleased to see his side avoid defeat by earning the draw, the Liverpudlian re-iterated that getting through the games unscathed is the only thing that truly matters at this stage of pre-season.
Speaking to mkdons.com: “It was enjoyable. UCD are one of the only full-time teams in the League of Ireland and Peterborough came here just the other day and drew 2-2 - that just shows you it was going to be a little bit more difficult.
“We played only 24 hours (before this game) and we’re playing at 3pm (today) so it’s a massive ask for these players. Despite that, Dele Alli covered 12 and half kilometres which is phenomenal and Shauny Williams, who’s a centre-half, covered eight and a half and he only played 70 minutes so it just shows you the effort their putting into the game.
“People will be looking at the results on the TV or whatever but if you ask any manager around the country it’s not about that, it’s about getting through games without any injuries and we’re now one step closer to that game against Shrewsbury. I’ll care about the result then.”
The Dons’ comeback started with a well-taken penalty from trialist Santiago Aloi, who has been with Club for over a week bidding to impress Robinson and his coaching staff.
A centre-midfielder by preference, Aloi has been asked to play out wide for the Dons due to Dean Bowditch’s absence and Robinson has been impressed with the Argentine’s attitude and grit over the last two days.
“(Santiago) is a good player. You don’t play for River Plate if you’re not a good player. He came to England when he was very young and he’s played professionally in Argentina for a while and he’s got something.
“He’s not played in his position yet because we’ve got an awful lot of centre midfielders and not enough wide midfield players. We’ve had to play these two games with only one wide player so he’s had to be a makeshift one for us but his attitude’s fantastic.
“You tend to find with Argentinean players they’ve got tremendous grit and determination about them and Santiago’s a really good, honest professional and he’s been good to work with.
“We’re still a long way off making a decision and I need to take things into stock a little bit and have a good look at a few things.”