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Ian: Confidence-boosting victory

21 August 2014

Goalkeeper Ian McLoughlin was thrust into the thick of the action on Tuesday and he helped the Dons earn a valuable three points and a first clean sheet.

The 22-year-old was brought on to replace an injured David Martin at half time and, after striker Benik Afobe put Karl Robinson’s side ahead in the 49th minute, he and his back four held off a late Chesterfield rally to secure the team’s first away victory of the season.

“I played here last season for Newport County so I knew what to expect,” he told MK Dons Player after the game. “The fans get behind them here and they are a good side who move the ball well, but I thought our lads were excellent.

“We could have taken more of our chances and put the game to bed in the second half but it was a good test. We’ve got defenders here who will put their face in front of a ball for you - they are warriors.

“In the end it was good to keep a clean sheet and pick up the win. It was a good test for the lads and when teams are putting pressure on like Chesterfield did, it’s good to ride it out. It’s a good confidence booster.”

The Dons went into Tuesday’s clash without the services of winger Danny Green due to a hamstring complaint and were forced to make-do without right-back Lee Hodson, as well as Martin, in the second half due to injuries.

McLoughlin, though, believes the team’s strength in depth was what helped them through. He added: “We have some strength in depth now. Over the last few years we’ve had a good 14 players or so but now we have a good squad.

“This is the best Dons squad I’ve seen since I’ve been here. Karl (Robinson), Richie (Barker) and the Chairman have worked hard to get new signings in and it’s good that we have the because it’s providing great competition.”

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