Skip to main content Skip to site footer
Fixture News

Strong start key to success for boss

Robbie Neilson reflects on Bury triumph...

2 October 2017

Robbie Neilson believes the way his side began at Bury was pivotal to picking up another three points.

Neilson's men were ahead at Gigg Lane inside six minutes thanks to Osman Sow's fine finish.

Ethan Ebanks-Landell headed home in the second half to wrap up the deserved success, moving the Dons on to 10 points from a possible 12. 

"All in all, it's a good three points," the 37-year told iFollow MK Dons. "

I'm delighted with the way we started the game. We took the lead and then saw out a bit of storm at the end of the first half where they put us under a bit of pressure.

"Although their league position isn’t where they’d want it to be, they’ve got some good players here. Their front three is up with there with the best in the league. We knew we had to be organised defensively and make sure we didn’t over-commit, then take our opportunities when they came."

He added: "It's a great result and I'm really pleased but if we want to be where we want to be, today is a game we had to win. Now we need to do it on Tuesday and then again on Saturday at Stadium MK. The key for us now is to build on this good period that we’ve had."

Here's what Neilson also said in his post-match press conference...

Tackling a tough Bury side...
"Bury, with the way they play, can be quite hard to stop and it can be quite hard to get up to the centre-half. I thought we did it well for the first 20 to 30 minutes but then we started to sit off a little. There needs to be a balance – if they bang it long and our midfield has to drop to get the second balls but the only way to stop it is by getting up the field. We changed the shape in the second half to deal with it and then changed it again to try and see out the game. We knew that the second goal would be key."

A real team performance...
"I was pleased with the two centre-halves but also the players that came off the bench. It’s important for us to have a strong bench – I’m a believer that the strongest team isn’t the starting team but the finishing team."

Osman Sow...
“I think he’ll be a big player for us. He’s still bedding himself in and the players are still trying to get used to how he plays."

Players getting acquainted to one another...
"Because we’ve got such a new squad, the players are still getting to know each other – what type of pass they want and what type of run they’ll make. It’s moments like today that can really set it in your mind. Next time Scott Golbourne gets that ball, he’s looking for that pass (to Osman). It’s the same when Chuks comes on. If we can get him a run of games, players will start to realise he’s going to secure the ball for us and he’s somebody they can run off."

Chuks Aneke...
"You can see the difference he makes. He’s top, top level for us. The key for us now is to keep him fit. Simon (Crampton), Adam (Ross) and the other staff have been working hard to get him to this level. We’re getting 20 minutes out of him – now we need to try and get 30 and 40. We want to push him while making sure we’re not over-pushing him because he’s too key a player for us to lose again."

Firepower arriving...
"If we can get a front two of Sow and (Chuks) Aneke then that would be phenomenal. We’ve also got (Kieran) Agard in there, who is our top goalscorer from last year - today it looked like him coming back to form. We’ve got (Ryan) Seager who, combined with Osman Sow or Aneke, would be one of the top players in this league. The firepower is starting to come - the key now is keeping them fit and making sure we feed them."

September form...
"I’m happy but there are still so many games left to play. We can’t rest on our laurels after a couple of good results. We’ll come back in and go to work again. We’ll try and get a result on Tuesday night. Then the Bradford game will be massive because it’s an opportunity to lay down a marker against one of the top teams. If we can get a good result against them, it will give everyone confidence."

Thoughts on Checkatrade Trophy...
"As the Checkatrade (Trophy campaign) progresses, it becomes more important for us. At the start of the season, you’re playing so many games it just about trying to get people fit but I think we’re at a level now where we can start going strong in it and trying to push.”

Strong team for Stevenage...
"Chuks will start but we’ll manage his game time. Whether he makes it to half-time we’ll wait and see. We’ve got guys like (Aidan) Nesbitt, (Robbie) Muirhead and (Conor) McGrandles that will come in along with some of the boys who played (against Bury)."

Callum's England call...
"I’m absolutely delighted. He’s not only a good player but he’s also a good character. He’s a role model for other kids in our Academy. He’s been here from eight years old and he’s very humble boy, with a great attitude. I think he can go a long way. I told him to go and enjoy it and go and show them what he can do and what MK Dons is all about."

Changes at the back...
"I had a decision to make today, with (Ethan) Ebanks-Landell coming back in. Do I drop Callum and put George back in there? I just felt Callum had done so well and gives us so much going forward that he deserved to stay."


Advertisement block