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Match Reports

Boss not disheartened despite defeat

12 February 2017

Robbie Neilson believes MK Dons can’t be too downhearted after taking three points from two tight encounters.

Neilson’s Dons beat Oldham Athletic in a closely-fought contest at Stadium MK last Tuesday but couldn’t repeat the success four days later against Oxford United, losing 1-0 at the Kassam Stadium in another match where there was little to separate the two sides.
The 36-year-old said after Saturday’s loss: “We should be sitting here with two points but we’ve got three, so we can’t be too negative with it.
“We got three points on Tuesday night when it probably should have been a draw and then we’ve come here and lost the game when it probably should have been a draw.
“We’ve been on a good run and it’s hard in this league to continuously win games and draw games. We just need focus our attention to the game on Tuesday.”

“The most important thing is to be consistent with the players – they worked really hard again today and on Tuesday night. Now we need to prepare for the game (at Bury) and try to get three points.”
Neilson continued: “We started well but after that we found it quite difficult. We were playing against a team who didn’t play in midweek, whereas we had a tough game where we had to go until the 96th minute to get the win. Oxford are also a side who have a lot of energy in midfield.
“We got through and a couple of chances early doors but we didn’t take them. It would have been a different game because of the momentum we’re carrying at the moment."
Things could have been different for the Dons had they converted the two chances they created early on in the first-half but neither Chuks Aneke nor Stuart O’Keefe could find the net from inside the penalty area.

Neilson also confirmed post-match that both Joe Walsh and Darren Potter now face suspensions. Walsh will miss two matches after collecting his 10th yellow card of the campaign, while Potter is out of the trip to Bury because of the red card he received late on for a second bookable offence.
“The least said the better because I don’t want to get myself in trouble. The game is done and anything I say won’t change the result – he’s not going to come out and say let’s start again so we just move on.”
Neilson, though, refused to be drawn into a comment.
The one talking point from Saturday’s defeat was the incident in the build-up to the goal, where referee Trevor Kettle pulled play back for a free-kick despite appearing to give Oxford winger Rob Hall enough of an advantage after being fouled.

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