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Alan: Take the positives

7 October 2013

Alan Smith feels it’s important he and his teammates take the positives out of last weekend’s defeat to Gillingham.

The Dons fell to only their second League loss of the season last Saturday when they were beaten 3-2 by Martin Allen’s Gills at Priestfield Stadium, in a match where Karl Robinson’s side fought back from two goals down with ten men.

After Tom Flanagan was sent off for a professional foul early on, the men from MK1 courageously pulled themselves level before half-time only to then be beaten by a 60th minute header from Danny Hollands.

Smith, who was forced to play at centre-back on Saturday due to an injury to the only replacement defender Jon Otsemobor in the warm-up, was one of many disappointing faces at full-time but the former England international is confident the side can pick themselves up and learn from their performance.

Speaking to, Smith said: “We’ve got to take the positives out of it. Being down to ten men so early on and being two goals, it gave us a mountain to climb but we had the belief that we could go and win it in the second half.

“We got ourselves back into the game and I thought the second half was a very even and it’s disappointing not to get anything out of it, which is full credit to the lads. We showed great togetherness and the camaraderie you need when you go down to ten men.

“We have a set of lads that trust each other and really care about each other here, so we’ll pick ourselves up and I believe we can take a lot of out of this performance. I don’t think anybody here could question the effort and commitment for the Club, which is a massive thing when you don’t get the result you want.”

The major turning point on the weekend was the red card to Flanagan, which subsequently led to a second converted penalty from Gillingham striker Danny Kedwell inside the opening 13 minutes. Smith, though, has no doubts the young defender will bounce back and insists the players will help him to do so. 

He added: “We’ll look after him but he’ll be alright, Tom. We all feel for him but we know that he’s the type of character that can bounce back from this. 

“We’ll make sure we put an arm around him because nobody will ever point any fingers here. He’s got a big future ahead of him and hopefully he’ll come back stronger and better from this."

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