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Match Reports

Mixed emotions for manager

27 March 2017

Robbie Neilson bemoaned his side’s lack of cutting edge in the goalless draw with Port Vale but was pleased they walked away with something to their name.

The Dons left Vale Park with a point at the weekend but will be disappointed not to have secured a victory after having a number of decent goalscoring chances – Harvey Barnes, Kieran Agard, Robbie Muirhead and George Williams all going close for the men from MK1.

“The first-half performance was really good and we probably should have been at least two-nil up,” Neilson said after the final whistle. “The cutting edge just wasn’t there and we didn’t get the goals.

“In the second half it became quite a scrappy game but even then we created a few decent chances that we should be taking.”

The Dons boss added: “The key thing, though, is we managed to get something out of the game.

“It’s two clean sheets on the bounce and it’s another point closer to safety. Looking now, we probably need one more win and we should be there.”

Here’s what else we learnt from Neilson’s post-match press conference...

More cutting edge...
“That first goal is always difficult to get. We had opportunities to get it in the first half but we didn’t manage to and then it got scrappy. Our decision making in the final third wasn’t great and the final finish wasn’t great either. It’s disappointing but we have to stick together.”

Back-to-back clean sheets...
“The nervousness of not scoring a goal breeds itself back to the defence sometimes but I thought they stood firm. (Port Vale) had two chances in the game but other than they didn’t really create anything which is pleasing. Ultimately, though, we’re disappointed that we came here and didn’t take three points.”

Still a lot to play for...

“We’re in a position where we’re getting to the end of the season and we’re not going to get to the play-offs but we’ve still got a lot to play for. The fight is to try and get a top-half finish and if we can do that then great. We managed to jump Charlton (Athletic) which gets us a little bit higher. We’ve got a huge game next week against Gillingham and if we can win that we’ll go above them as well. We’ve just got to keep aiming up.”
 
Robbie Muirhead’s performance...
“I thought he did alright. I asked him to lead the line and I thought he did it really well but he’s still got a long way to go. It’s easy to forget he’s only 20 years of age. He’s got to get in the box more often and get more goals.”


Aims for the rest of the season...
“We want to pick up more points and we want to push up the league. We want to play with energy and to excite the fans – it’s what we’re aiming to do every week. We want to be a team that wins week in, week out and it’s frustrating that we’re not there yet. Hopefully we can get there in the near future.”
 
Substitutions...
“Ed (Upson) rocked his ankle in the first half and I was a little worried he was going to pick up a booking too. I felt Maecky (Ngombo) would come on and give us a little bit more energy and I thought he showed flashes of that.”