Skip to main content Skip to site footer
Fixture News

Robbie hails resilient Dons

What we learnt from Robbie Neilson's post-match press conference...

25 September 2017

MK Dons boss Robbie Neilson praised the resilience and determination of his MK Dons side in the 2-0 win over AFC Wimbledon.

Neilson’s Dons secured their first ever win at the Cherry Red Records Stadium courtesy of a George Francomb own goal, Gboly Ariyibi’s fifth finish of the season and a superb second-half penalty save from Lee Nicholls.

The result also made it back-to-back wins for the men from MK1, who now occupy a place in the top half of the Sky Bet League One table.

“It's a huge game, with all the history and it was massive for us to come down here and win,” Neilson said in his post-match press conference.

“It was a fantastic first-half performance. We played some really good football and went 2-0 up. The second half was a different kind of game – we had to be resilient and we had to stand our ground.

“We knew they would throw everything at us in the second half. The kitchen sink came out, but Lee Nicholls made that great penalty save and our centre halves were magnificent.”

He continued: “We didn't have a good game here last year but the difference between last year and this was night and day. Last year, we started well but crumbled whereas this year, we stood firm and were resilient – we could have even scored more goals.

“It was great night for the Club. It was fantastic was seeing us all together at the end – it's night like this that brings everyone together and show we can do it.”

Here’s what else we learnt from Neilson’s post-match press conference...
Nicholls’ penalty save...
“We owe a lot to Paul Heald and the work he does every Sunday, checking penalties and seeing which side people go to. I’m always on him because every Sunday he’s rewinding the highlights programmes to watch them and tonight’s the reason why. It’s little details like that can get us up the league.”

Lee’s performance as a whole...
“He made two or three really good saves and kept it at 2-0 but that's the reason I put him in as number one. He has the attributes and the potential to go really high in the game – tonight he showed that.”

Change of formation...
“We went 4-4-2 because we felt we get their centre-halves narrow and get their full-backs out so we could exploit the pace. We knew that left-hand channel would cause trouble if we could get Osman Sow down there, and (Ryan) Seager in the box is lethal as well. We managed to do that tonight.”

Osman Sow’s withdrawal...
“He's just fatigued. We’re still nursing him through because he didn’t train for a long time.”

Gboly Ariyibi’s display...
“I speak to him all the time at his defensive aspects because I know attacking-wise, he’s got all the attributes – if we get him into areas, he’ll do the damage. Tonight he did both sides so I’m really pleased with him.”

Played well in key periods of the game...
“It's really important we came here and silenced the crowd in the first 15 minutes and in the second half too. We stood up to the game in both of those periods.”

Callum Brittain’s inclusion...
“I had absolutely no qualms about putting him in at all. I didn’t even think twice about it because character-wise, he’s top level and I think he’s got massive potential. He just needs to keep working and hard doing the right things but tonight will be huge for him because you’re not going to be much tougher atmospheres than this.”

Moving onto Tuesday...
“It’s only three points. It’s three points that gets us unto the top half of the league and gives us the opportunity to push on, heading into Tuesday. We want to try and go on a run. We always aim to get seven points out of nine, but hopefully we can go for nine out of nine. We go into the games really confident.”


Advertisement block