Robbie Neilson has called for togetherness as his MK Dons side look to respond to Tuesday’s disappointment.
“We still need a few more wins so we have to stick together and make sure there’s support there for the players to ensure we get over that line.
“We need to continue working hard with them and they need to continue working hard to, so that we can get through to the end of season.”
Here’s what else Neilson had to say in Thursday’s press conference...
Lack of effort against AFC Wimbledon?
“I don’t think there was. It was a disappointing result, yes, but the game turned on a goal. We made a couple of errors – we let the guy come down the line and get the cross in – and that totally changed the game and the atmosphere around the place as well. First half we stood up to the game well but in the second half we didn’t win enough headers or second balls and that’s the key when you play in these games. They beat us in that area and that cost us being able to get a foothold in the game.”
Ben Tilney’s performance at AFC Wimbledon...
“It was a tough night for him but I thought he handled himself really well. He made a couple of mistakes, as other players did, but he’s only going to grow from that experience. There’s not too many bigger or more important games he’s going to play in so he’s ticked that off. He just needs to keep building.”
Project will take time...
“When we came in we were down the bottom of the league. We managed to get up a little bit but we’ve struggled in the last few weeks. We were never automatically going to go from a team that is struggling to a team that is winning every single game, over night. We have to be patient. The points ratio has been decent. You’ve got to try and turn it at least a little bit and we’ve done that, you’re just not going to go straight from averaging one point a game to averaging three points per game.”
Tougher task than expected?
“Not really, no. I knew what I was coming into and I knew it would be difficult. When you’re with a team who have just come down a division there is that negativity and there wasn’t a huge turnover of players so we still had that feeling. The key for us was to try and get some stability, get ourselves to the summer and then build ourselves from there.”
“We’ve got to try and beat them. We go into every game expecting to take three points. We have to prepare properly and prepare as if they are the team at the top of the league. We need to make sure we’re 100 percent on it so that when we go out there we can get the result.
Coventry a must-win match?
“We’re delighted to get them back. We’ve missed them the last two games because they’re not only good players but good leaders in the dressing room. They can drive the team forward and they’ll put their bodies on the line. We need to make sure we keep these leaders fit and healthy for the games.”
George Baldock and Dean Lewington boost...
“That’s had a part to play (in our recent form) because he’s a key player – he gives us that link up front because he’s got great ability and the players can play off him. We’ve lost him, though, so we have to deal with it, just as we have when we’ve lost several players through suspension and injury. It’s disappointing not to have Chuks but we’re not miracoulsy going to have him back for the weekend so we have to concentrate on the players who are ready to go.”
Chuks Aneke’s absence...
“I think first and foremost we have to get the points on the board to secure ourselves for next season – that’s the key – and then we’ll start looking to next season. Naturally, there will be changes then. Some players will stay, some players will go. We need to make sure that starts next season is better than the one that finished this season.”
Not looking to next season...