Robbie Neilson says his MK Dons are working hard to improve their attacking play as they look to beat Bury this Saturday.
Neilson’s men had chances in their stalemate with Northampton Town on Tuesday but were unable to truly threaten the Cobblers goal.
They’ll hope to be more of an attacking threat at the weekend when they go in search of back-to-back away victories at Gigg Lane.
“We’ve got good players, we’ve just got to start getting them into the right areas and our decision-making has to be better,” Neilson said in his pre-match press conference.
“We’re still working on the quality into the striker and the decision-making when we get into certain areas. It’s something we’ve touched on after the game on Tuesday night and it’s something we’ll be working on over the next day or two, and the coming weeks.”
While Neilson was disappointed not to get on the scoresheet against Northampton, the Dons boss was pleased with his side’s defensive output as they kept their visitors at bay to secure back-to-back clean sheets.
“I’m always pleased to keep clean sheets. For me, the defence is a really important part of the team because if we can go keep clean sheets then it allows us to go and express ourselves up top and score goals.
“When you’re losing goals at the back then the negativity spirals through the team and the forward players start worrying about missing chances because we might lose the game. When you’re keeping clean sheets, it builds confidence through the team because we know we can see out games and it allows our forward players some freedom.”
Here’s what else Neilson had to say in his pre-match press conference...
“Joe (Walsh) has been training the last couple of days. He’ll train again (on Thursday) and we’ll have a look at him for the weekend. It might be a little too early for him but we’ll see how he does in the next day or two.
“(Peter Pawlett) is still going to be the end of next week until he trains and then he’ll have a week of full training before he’s back with the squad ready for selection. We knew it would take a bit of time but we felt it was better to have him out now than have him struggle over a long period.
“Chuks (Aneke) is training. There might be some involvement in the game on Saturday, depending on how he does over the next day or two. We’ve got the game midweek against Stevenage and hopefully we can get him some game-time in that. He’s desperate to get out there and we’re desperate to get him out there as well. It’s been a little bit stop-start for him at the moment but that’s the nature of the beast when you’ve been out for such a long time. He’ll get over that and we’ll get him back.”
Strength in depth in defence...
“We’ve definitely got some good options (at the back). That can be difficult because you’ve got to leave some good players out but at the end of the day that’s my job – it’s about picking the team which I believe can win the game.”
Lee Nicholls’ form...
“I know he would do it. As soon as I came in here I saw the potential in him. I didn’t put him in right away because of the predicament we were in. David Martin was here and he was very experienced and had been here for a long time – I didn’t want to unsettle the back four by putting a new keeper in. We managed to get ourselves safe towards the end of the season and that gave us the chance to put him in – he’s not looked back since.”
Displays from the full-backs...
“I’ve pleased with the two full-backs. Scott (Golbourne) has come in and performed as I knew he would – he’s a very experienced player. Callum (Brittain) has done great – he’s a young kid but he’s not looked out of place at all.”
George Williams a key player...
“It’s been a good year for George. When I first came in, he played in the Yeovil (Town) game in the (Checkatrade Trophy). He had been in and out of the team and hadn’t really played but since that game he’s been an ever-present really. He still has to continue to work hard because there’s a lot of competition but that pushes everyone.”
Osman Sow finding his feet...
“You can see the quality of Osman, without a doubt. Not only is he a good presence but he’s got great pace and feet. The players trust him on the ball and he moves it quickly. I think every team in this league would take him because he’s got all the attributes you need. Now it’s just about him finding the net – that will come.
“I still think he’s getting his fitness. He’s been in China for a year and a half where they play a maximum of one game a week and only 30 games a season. He went to the Emirates but hardly played at all there. Saturday-Tuesday-Saturday is difficult for him at this moment in time but once we get his full fitness, I think we’ll see a very good player at this level.”
Looking ahead to Bury...
“They’ve got good experience. They’ve got (Jermaine) Beckford up front along with Maguire and Smith. Those three are good players for this level and they’ve carried them through in the last couple of weeks.
“It was a tough place last year when we went up there and drew. We know it’s going to be a tough game but I believe it’s an opportunity for us to go and get three points. We’ll be looking to get there and play better football than we did on Tuesday night and get the result.”
Confidence in squad’s quality...
“We’ve got a very good team but we have to play better than we are at the moment to try and get ourselves up that league. I do believe we’ve got a good chance of getting promoted but we have to prove it on the football pitch.”
Tickets for Saturday's clash with Bury at Gigg Lane are priced at £20 adults, £14 seniors/under-23s, £10 under-18s and £5 under-12s while under-5s go FREE.
Official away travel is available at £26 adults and £25 over-65s/under-18s with Season Ticket holders and members entitled to a £1 discount.
To book tickets and travel click here, visit the Box Office at Stadium MK or call 0333 200 5343. Tickets will be available to buy from the Club until 5pm on Friday.