Karl Robinson praised the impact of his second-half substitutes after the Dons’ 4-1 come-from-behind win over Barnet on Saturday.
Sweltering temperatures at The Hive this afternoon made things difficult for Robinson’s men who, after struggling to get going in the first half, fell behind in the 63rd minute thanks to a terrific strike from Bees striker Jake Hyde.
However, two goals from replacement forward Izale McLeod and a late strike from sub Patrick Bamford helped secure the Dons’ second straight victory and extend their unbeaten run in pre-season to nine games.
And Robinson was delighted with the impression the six substitutes left on the game. He told MK Dons Player: “It was ridiculously hot in the first half and the pitch was very dry.
“We told the starting players that they’d only be playing 60 minutes so to make sure they did the right things and not get injured. We wanted to make them tired, though, because we knew we had players on the bench that would up the game a little bit and that was the case.
“When you can bring on players like Patrick, Izale, Ben Reeves, Tom, George and Dele it makes a big difference and that’s where I think we’re stronger this year - our bench can do an awful lot of things for us.
“They’re all good players. Patrick’s a class act who we’ve been without all pre-season, Izale came on and got his goals which was nice for him and Jason Banton, as well, finished the game really strong. They all did.
“It was a pleasing day. We’ve come here to a lovely stadium and to score four goals against a good Barnet side is good for me.
This afternoon’s game marked exactly one week until the new Sky Bet League 1 season kicks-off for the Dons, who will now be preparing for a difficult trip to Shrewsbury Town with pre-season all-but-over for the men from MK1.
While a Dons XI still have one more friendly to go, a Wednesday night date with a Tottenham XI, Robinson took the opportunity when speaking to MK Dons Player to have quick look back at what has been a relatively successful summer for the Club.
“It’s been a wonderful pre-season but it counts for nothing. I don’t see us with any points on the board or any trophies in the cabinet. It’s just been about us playing games to get us to the right level and that’s been the case.
“Next week we’ll probably split into groups as a lot of youngsters will play on Wednesday and none of the starting XI will play as it’s too close to the game. They’ll split up in training with some working on tactics and some working on Tottenham. Then we’ll re-group on Thursday before travelling up to Shrewsbury
“We believe we are ready. We knew we’d have a lesser first-half performance today because of where we are at physically, so now it’s a case of us coming off them and make sure they’re ready for the start of the season. All the players know where we’re at and it’s down to them to take it into the season. We’re excited, though, it’s just around the corner.”