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Match Reports

Karl: Pleased with aspects of performance

30 July 2014

Karl Robinson says he was pleased with certain aspects of his young side’s performance against Cambridge United on Tuesday.

The Dons, whose starting XI included nine players aged 22 and under, were put through a strong test by the Football League newcomers, who came out on top by a scoreline of 3-1.

Despite the defeat, though, Robinson insists there were positives to take from the contest – none more so than another 90 minutes of action for several of his first-team players.

“It’s important people aren’t too harsh or critical of the players,” Robinson told MK Dons Player after the game. “It was a completely makeshift team but I was still really pleased with parts of the performance. The young players looked good in patches.

“There were some silly goals that we conceded and we need to eradicate that, but I was really pleased with certain elements. (Cambridge) just took their chances really well and you’ve got to take your hat off to them.

Robinson continued: “A lot of our young players have learned some really good lessons and some of the senior players that did play, got 90 minutes. Every box that we wanted to tick physically we’ve now ticked and it’s now all about making sure they are ready for 10 days time.”

The Dons’ solitary goal of the game came courtesy of striker Tom Hitchcock, who converted Giorgio Rasulo’s driven cross from inside the six-yard box after doing well to hold off pressure from a U’s defender.

The strike was Hitchcock’s third of pre-season so far and Robinson says he has been pleased with the performances of his new forward.

He added: “I thought Tom took his goal really well and he went close with a couple of chances. He looked like he’s going to be a good player and looked really sharp.

“He’s a box man and I said that when we signed him. He’s always in the area and he’s always going to nick a goal on the odd occasion as well.

“I can see where he needs to improve and that’s the exciting thing. He’s somebody who I have high hopes for.”

Finally, Robinson wished Cambridge striker Tom Elliot a speedy recovery after the 23-year-old was stretchered off in the second-half with what appeared to be a serious-looking leg injury.

“Just a note on (Tom Elliot), I hope he recovers quickly because it’s not nice to see. I don’t want to see any players getting injured in these games. I certainly don’t like it if it’s my team and I don’t like it when it’s anybody else’s team either.

“It wasn’t a malicious tackle at all, Tom (Flanagan) won the ball and the lad got his foot caught underneath.

“Hopefully he can come back from whatever the injury may be and be available for the first game of the season.”

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