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Match Reports

Robbie praises resilient Dons

2 April 2017

Robbie Neilson was full of praise for his MK Dons players after they picked up a hugely-important three points from their clash with Gillingham at Stadium MK.

The win – which lifts the Dons eight points clear of the bottom four in Sky Bet League One and moves them to within a win of the top half – was hard-earned despite the fact Neilson’s side took a two-goal lead after just 10 minutes.
 
Robbie Muirhead and Harvey Barnes had the men from MK1 in the driving seat early on but second-half finishes from Cody McDonald and Josh Wright meant it took a stoppage-time header from Dean Lewington for the Dons to collect the valuable three points.
 
“It’s a huge result for us given the way the other results in the league have gone,” Neilson told MK Dons PlayerHD. “It gets us up to 14th and means we’re still aiming for that top-half finish.

“I thought in the first half they were fantastic but second half we let it slip a little bit and they got back in the game.
 
“We then went down to 10 men but we dug it out and that’s brilliant – they showed togetherness and spirit and I’ve got to give massive credit to the players for that.
 
“Although we made it difficult for ourselves, it is three points which moves us up a couple of places and it gives us a chance to get into that first-half – it’s a good day.”
 
Here’s what else Robbie Neilson had to say in post-match interviews...
 
On fast start...
“They passed it really well. We managed to get (Ben) Reeves and (Harvey) Barnes into little pockets. I was pleased with the way we started the game – bouncing it about. We probably should have scored more in the first half to really put the game to bed.”
 
On second-half display...
“When a team is 2-0 down at half-time, they’ve got nothing to lose when they go back out. In the second half they came out and pressed us aggressively which made things difficult for us. We let them back into it. We needed to adapt a little bit better to that.”





“We played five at the back and we shouldn’t be getting done by a long ball over the top. It’s a little bit of naivety and it’s disappointing. Lee will be disappointed because he made a great save and we didn’t react to the second ball.”
On Gillingham’s penalty...
 
“I’m pleased for him. We know he can do that. You can see the quality he’s got in that left foot. We’ve been speaking to him about getting himself into the box to get more chances but he likes to hang out in that area and hit the shots. You’re not going to score a goal like that all the time so it’s important he does start getting into the box more. I expect him to get more goals now that he’s managed to get his first one.”
On Robbie Muirhead’s goal...



“The Club hadn’t won at Stadium MK for a long time and now we’ve got a really good record here. We look forward to coming here and teams don’t now. The longer we can do that, the better.”
 
On form at Stadium MK...

“Lewie has gone in there and he’s got a 6ft 9in keeper stream rolling towards him but he’s put his head on the line to get something on it. It shows the spirit of Dean – he’s always desperate for the Club to do well and get us the points on the board. It’s a massive goal for us because it’s made a massive difference to the season.”
On stoppage-time winner...