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Fixture News

Boss: Points on the board

Robbie Neilson reflects on MK Dons' victory over Gillingham...

21 August 2017

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Having stressed the importance of picking up three points in the lead-up to the game, Robbie Neilson was unsurprisingly pleased to see his MK Dons side triumph in Saturday’s clash with Gillingham.

Neilson’s Dons collected their first Sky Bet League One success of the campaign with a 1-0 victory over the Gills at Stadium MK – new signing Osman Sow the match-winner with a 47th-minute header from Aaron Tshibola’s superb cross.

“When you enter the season, you want to win the first game and get yourself up and running. It didn't happen in the first game, nor in the second, so it was important we came into this game and got three points,” Neilson said in his post-match press conference.

“I sensed a little bit nervousness from us in the first half because we were searching for that win and that first goal in the league.”

He continued: “We had a lot of dominance and created quite a few chances. It’s just that general movement once we get in the final third – it’s something we’ve been working on and it’s something we need to continue to work on.

“The penalty at the end gave us the opportunity to kill the game and we didn’t take it. We then had a penalty against us and thankfully we didn’t pay the ultimate price.

“Yes we’d have liked to have scored more goals but it’s a win which gives us a chance to push on.”

Here are the other key talking points from Neilson’s post-match press conference...

Strong defensive performance
“Defensively we looked strong. You always know, at the end of games, if you’re 1-0 up with 10 minutes to go teams will launch direct ball on top of you and make things difficult. The two centre-halves and full-backs were aggressive and stood up to it. Lee was great for us too."

Missed penalty
“The penalty at the end gave us the opportunity to kill the game and we didn’t take it. We then had a penalty against us and thankfully we didn’t pay the ultimate price.

Osman Sow's debut delight
“I was wondering whether or not to start him but he was looking sharp in training. I’m really pleased he got himself off the mark. Whenever a new striker comes in, it’s important for them to get going. You could see the quality he brings – not just the goal but his link play and pace in behind. He’s a proper striker and he gives us great competition up there with Agard, Seager and Muirhead. We’ve got a lot of options up there.”

Peter Pawlett’s impact off the bench
“He was great. I've known Peter for a long time and I know what he brings to the game. The style of football in England suits him – it's open and there are areas for him to break into. The way he carries the ball excites people. He's had a few injuries so we have to manage him but he fits into a lot of the roles we're looking to fill at the moment.”

Ryan Seager's showing
“He's a good player. He gives us different options. He came here and needed to get his fitness up because he wasn't training with the first team at Southampton, so we still need to get him to the levels we want him to be at. Then we'll see what he's capable of. I also want to see him higher up the park – then we'll see the real Ryan Seager.”

Competition for places up top
“(Competition) is massive. They are not all going to play 45 games in a season but it’s important that all the players are ready to come in and do a job for us. We have to have options to change things. For me, that front four should be able to play everywhere. For me, the striker should be able to play all over and the 10 should be able to play on the left and up front too.”

Recruitment update 
“We're still working hard. These things take time, waiting for everything to happen. We're still in the market for those who we've targeted all summer."

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