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Match Reports

Robbo pleased with local run-out

21 July 2014

Manager Karl Robinson says there were plenty of positives to take from Saturday’s double-header against Aylesbury FC and Stony Stratford Town.

The Dons squad split in half to complete the two local fixtures this weekend, with both teams coming out on top with 1-0 and 7-1 victories respectively, in front of a combined crowd of over 800 people.

The two matches also saw most of the players, including new signing Will Grigg, get another 70 minutes under their belts, while midfielder Ben Reeves was able to take part in his first friendly of the season, after missing the three Ireland games with a stiff hamstring.

“The results have no effect on what we’re trying to do at this stage,” Robinson told MK Dons Player. “The big thing today was seeing how the local community came together. There was over 500 (at Stony Stratford) and 300 at Aylesbury and so it was pleasing to see us getting out in the community to try and build relationships with other teams.

“The other main components for me were the fitness of players and seeing the youngsters play. It was pleasing also to have Reevesy back and Will Grigg wearing an MK Dons shirt for the first time.”

Robinson continued: “We’re not focusing on performances just yet. We’re still probably a game away from looking at where we need to improve. It’s still about minutes.

“They’re still going to work hard and hopefully they can keep doing the right things and if they keep doing that then hopefully we’ll be in much better shape going into the games against Cambridge and Brackley. That’s where they should be starting to pick up.”

With the first-team players restricted to just 70 minutes as part of their fitness plan, Robinson was able to introduce the Club’s youth-team players for the final stages of each match.

He added: “The young kids will learn tremendous things out of the game today and hopefully there will be things they’ll take into future games in their careers.

“You could see the connection between the first-team and the academy with the amount of players that played. I think there were 7 youth-team players that started this game so it’s not just pleasing to see the 10 or 11 that finished but also the home grown ones that started.”

Finally, the Dons boss offered an update midfielder Darren Potter, who missed both games as part of his rehabilitation programme.

Robinson confirmed: “Darren missed out as part of his rehab. He had a loaded programme on Friday which prevented him from doing anything for 48 hours.

“Hopefully he’ll be fit to play some minutes on Tuesday and then we’ll just have to keep loading him to get him back right. It’s a steady process but he’ll fit for the start of the season.”

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