Robbie Neilson won’t label Saturday’s clash with Rochdale as a ‘must-win’ but the MK Dons boss knows his side need to start picking up points.
The men from MK1 entertain Dale at Stadium MK this weekend, where they’ll be looking to bounce back from Tuesday’s disappointing loss to Peterborough United by securing their third league triumph of the 2017/18 campaign.
“If you want to be at the top end of the table you must win football matches,” Neilson said in response to a question his pre-match press conference about the fixture being a ‘must-win’ for his team.
“We’re not going to win game every but, if we have a setback, we need to make sure we respond well and get ourselves going again by being resilient and putting on a performance.”
Here’s what else Neilson had to say in his pre-match press conference...
Chuks Aneke’s progress...
“He’s still a little bit away from a start at first-team level. He played 60 minutes (on Wednesday) and did really well. His fitness levels are really coming on.
“We need to be really careful with Chuks. We are as desperate as everyone else is to get him starting and playing 90 minutes but we have to look at the long-term side of it and make sure he gets bedded in slowly.
“We want to keep him out there for the whole season and get as many games out of him as we can. If I could play Chuks for 90 minutes every week then I would but we’re not going to get that so we have to make sure we use him carefully.”
Joe Walsh still sidelined...
“Joe’s coming along but it will be another two weeks before he’s back. The knee problem has settled down but it’s just taking a bit of time.”
Scott Golbourne’s future...
“He wanted to come out and play some football and we were desperate to get him. We tried to sign him for the full season but he decided he wanted a short-term move to give himself the opportunity to see where things lie in January and we were happy with that.
“We hope that we can help his career while he’s here by getting game time and then when it gets to January, we’ll try and convince him to stay because, for this level, he’s a top player.”
“It’s about getting that consistency through the 90 minutes and also weekly.
“Getting players fully fit helps with that. We’ve been a little bit stop-start this season, with people coming in and out with injury. Every team will have periods in the season where they have that issue with players not available.
“It’s made it a little bit difficult to get that consistency going but we’ve got a good group here and I do believe it will come.”
Promotion is still the aim...
“It’s been the target all along. The aim is to try and get top two. We’ve not a great start but there’s a long, long way to go.”
Tickets for Saturday's clash with Rochdale are priced at £22 adults, £17 over-65s/under-21 and £7 under-18s while under-12s go FREE*. Supporters can upgrade their ticket to East Centre or clubRed for a small premium.
Members are entitled to a discount on tickets while there is a reduced rate available for groups of 20 or more – click here for more details on Group Tickets at Stadium MK!
To book tickets click here, visit the Box Office at Stadium MK or call 0333 200 5343. Tickets will be available to buy right up until kick-off, although online sales will cease at 12.30pm on the day of the game.