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Match Reports

Robbie: A learning experience

7 December 2016

Match Reports

Robbie: A learning experience

7 December 2016

Robbie Neilson says he learnt a lot from Tuesday’s Checkatrade Trophy tie with Yeovil Town.

Neilson, in his first match in charge of the Dons, saw his side take a one-goal lead at Huish Park but end up on falling to a 4-1 reverse after being reduced to 10 men following Samir Carruthers’ dismissal - a loss which ends their participation in the competition for 2016/17.

“Obviously the result is disappointing because you want to win every single game but there is a process of getting there for us,” Neilson told MK Dons PlayerHD. “It’s a disappointing start but there’s a long way to go here.

“I now know what level the players who played tonight are at. Can they be part of this group? Can’t they be part of this group? We know now.”

“There’s good potential from some of the players but if we want to go that way, then need to make sure the players coming with us are the right ones.

“That’s why we made so many changes. It let me see what we need, where we need to strengthen and also what players can come in and give us some strength in the first team – what I don’t want to do is get to the January window and think we need this when, after tonight, we know we need that.

“This game was a process of seeing what we’ve got and seeing what the depth of the squad is because yes, we can see people in training but I wanted to have a look at them in an actual match, under a bit of pressure.

“We have to try and learn from it and I’m sure we will. There’s a whole host of things that we need to get moving at this Football Club and tonight was a process and analysis of what we’ve got in the squad.

“It was great to see them – it’s a long way to come but they gave us great support,” he said.

Neilson didn’t go without acknowledging the travelling supporters who made the long journey across country to back the team at Huish Park.

“I think it showed the fragility of the team at the moment. It’s been a really difficult time for everyone and my job coming in is to try and progress them – sometimes you need to take a step back to make the jump forward.”

“In the second half they put us under a bit of pressure and we couldn’t handle their physicality which then means we put ourselves under pressure.

“Obviously Chuks (Aneke) coming back in was one. I thought he played well and he showed his physicality. He’s still working on his fitness but it’s great to have him back. I thought (Kieran) Agard came on and gave us energy as well – he worked really hard with a hunger.

He continued: “There were a few positives from tonight. There were several of them tonight who I was pleased with – although the result was disappointing there was a lot in there that showed the hunger that we need.

There were positives for Neilson to take from his Dons debut, including a solid first-half performance and a number of strong individual displays, but also several negatives to work on – not least the four goals conceded in the second-half.

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