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Fixture News

Boss: Progression in positive U’s performance

Robbie Neilson reflects on the draw with Oxford United...

4 September 2017

Robbie Neilson saw progression in MK Dons’ performance against Oxford United.

Neilson’s Dons fell behind to the U’s at Stadium MK but battled back to draw level, dominating the second half and arguably doing enough to warrant more than just a point.
 
“In the first 20 minutes were difficult and we found it hard to get a foothold in the game,” Neilson said in his post-match interview with iFollow MK Dons.
 
“We managed to stop that threat and from then on, we were the dominant team and we played really well. We got ourselves back in it with the goal and we probably should have gone on and won it.
 
“It was far better than it’s been. There’s still a lot of work to do and we’ve still got a long way to go but it was definitely progression. We've played a really good team and dominated, and looked positive.
 
“Now we have to continue that and hopefully today’s performance gives the players the confidence we all need to push on. I hope it's a springboard. We should have (Kieran) Agard and (Osman) Sow back next week to add some fire power and hopefully we can push on.”
 
Here’s what else we learnt from Neilson’s post-match interviews...
Deadline Day signings impress
“(Alex) Gilbey was fantastic driving forward with the ball. He gave us a totally different option. I thought (Scott) Golbourne was excellent having not played for a bit. Aidan (Nesbitt) came in and showed his quality. He still has a long way to go but high up the pitch, he has that spark that we need.”
 
Callum Brittain’s Man of the Match display
“He did well. He scores the goal which everyone will look at but there were other good aspects as well. Before he came on we were having some problems with (James) Henry down their left-hand side and I thought Callum came in and totally nullified it. Since the first day we came in and saw Callum in training we knew he had real potential and had a chance to do well at this Club. He has a really good attitude and he wants to do well.”
 
Callum the right substitution
“We had options. We could have brought on (Ousseynou) Cissé or Lewie (Dean Lewington) and shoved everyone across but I felt bringing George (Williams) into the centre gave us some pace and Callum gave us an attacking threat. It worked well but that's what you've got a squad for." 

Ethan Ebanks-Landell’s injury
“He’s on his way to hospital to have an X-ray. He’s had an issue in the past so we are hoping it’s not the same issue.”
 
Peter Pawlett’s withdrawal planned
“He’s not been training a lot. He’s got a little issue and we’ve been nursing him through. We knew we’d get 50 or 60 minutes out of him, so it was planned. We’ll take him out of training for a few days and settle it down, with the aim to get him back for next Saturday.”
 
Being sent to the stands
“There was an issue right in front of us where Gboly got body slammed off the ball. I reacted to it and the fourth official took exception to the reaction so I was sent into the stands. I've spoken to the ref and expressed my disappointment. You should be spoken to, given a warning and then you're put into the stand after that. I didn't think it merited anything like that.”
 
Building on a positive performance
“We’re not going to suddenly hit our top level and sustain it for the whole season. All we can do is aim to get there as quick as we can and as often as we can. I felt today we showed some really good periods of that – a sustained 30 to 40 minutes of it. We have to continue to that and start games like that as well.”


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