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Match Reports

Robbie points to positives

9 January 2017

Robbie Neilson wants MK Dons to take the positives from their performance against the Sky Bet Championship leaders, Brighton & Hove Albion.

The men from MK1 were beaten 2-0 by the Seagulls in their Emirates FA Cup Third Round tie at The Amex but Neilson was impressed with his team’s endeavour, especially in second-half.

“It was a difficult game for us but we’ve got to take the positives from it,” Neilson told MK Dons PlayerHD. “We’ve come down here and yes we’ve lost the game, but we’ve competed well.

“The second half was far better than the first. In the first half, although we created some chances, we didn’t really get after the ball in the way we wanted. We had to be more aggressive and get after the ball.

“For periods we did the right things and showed quality when we had the ball as well. It’s what we need to start doing for the full 90 minutes now.”

Neilson added: "The work-rate is key. If everyone works hard and does the right things then we’ll win football matches.

“We just lost the second goal at a really bad time and it really flattened us.”

“We spoke about that at half-time and in the second half there was a real energy about us and I thought for the first 25 minutes of the second half we were by far the better team – we created chances, we were aggressive and we stopped them playing.

“We’ve got a great Academy here and some good players have come through in the past. There are two or three of them who I think can make the step up and it’s about giving them opportunities.”

“I’ve been really impressed with his attitude and his ability in training with us,” Neilson said.

Aneke was replaced late on by first-year Callum Brittain for only his second appearance in an MK Dons shirt – a reward for the young defender after impressing Neilson in training.

“It was nearly 85 minutes he got which is the longest he’s been involved in a game for over a year now. It’s about building him up slowly but he definitely brings quality to the team.”

One of the Dons’ standout performers was attacking midfielder Chuks Aneke, who impressed in his longest outing since recovering from a serious knee injury.

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