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Fixture News

Boss points to positives

Robbie Neilson reflects on the Checkatrade Trophy tie with Stevenage...

4 October 2017

Robbie Neilson viewed Tuesday’s Checkatrade Trophy tie as a positive run-out, with Chuks Aneke returning to the starting XI and scholar David Kasumu walking away with Man of the Match award the particular highlights.

Neilson’s side won the match 5-4 on penalties to move top of Group G but the real positives for the Dons boss were seeing his number 10 back in action at Stadium MK as well as scholar David Kasumu putting in a solid display at right-back, while the tie also provided an opportunity for several Dons to get valuable minutes under their belts.

“It was a good run out,” Neilson said in his post-match press conference.

“It was good for some of the younger lads and the players who haven't played much recently. It was also an experience for the younger lads who didn't get on, like Dylan (Asonganyi) and Jay (Bird), just being around the first team set up.

“Chuks was the best player on the pitch by a country mile for the first 45 minutes so we're absolutely delighted. He’s really happy too because he's over that psychological hurdle of getting that first team start again.

“David did great. He's a great kid who has come through the Academy – he can play at right-back, right-wing and centre-midfield. He wants to do well and has worked really hard to get here. He's still a kid and his fitness needs to get better but that will come.”

Here’s what else Neilson had to say in his post-match press conference...
Chuks’ game-time...
“We were going to give him half an hour but after looking at how much ground he covered, we felt we could get another 15 minutes out of him. We wanted to come back out in the second half but we didn't want to risk it after 15 minutes sitting down. We'll prepare him now for Saturday.”

Assessment of the performance...
“For the first 30 minutes we played really well and we didn't get the goals we deserved. After that, the standard came down and it became pretty flat in the second half when we started to tire. We still probably should have scored one to get the three points.”

Players to benefit from penalty shoot-out pressure...
“There was a bit of pressure on the kids to score. I asked who wanted to take one and everyone said ‘yes’, so I decided to let the younger players take them to see if they could handle it and they did. I was also really pleased that they were all professional finishes.”


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