MK Dons’ fate may be all-but-sealed after Tuesday’s defeat to Bradford City but nonetheless Keith Millen wants the team to end the season with fight and determination.
After their 2-0 loss to the Bantams, MK Dons find themselves six points adrift of safety in Sky Bet League One with only two games left to play and an inferior goal difference on the teams above them.
The situation certainly looks extremely bleak but Millen doesn’t want the players to show any less fight in their final fixtures.
“What we can dictate now is our effort, commitment and desire to show this club means something to the players,” he told the media after Tuesday’s clash at the Northern Commercials Stadium.
“I think we showed that tonight and I'd have been really disappointed if it didn't. I said before the game that Southend [United] was nowhere near good enough, and irrespective of the rest of our results, I wanted to see a reaction to the criticism we rightly received.
“We were clear on what we expected of them – I wanted them to be brave. I'm happy to come in on Thursday, look them in the eye and tell them they gave it a go but we weren't quite good enough on the night.
“Hopefully the fans saw a response. That's all we can do – we can't go down with a whimper, I don't want that and I'm demanding of the group.”
Here’s what else Millen had to say in his post-match press conference...
On the performance...
“In the first half, we were excellent. We controlled the game, picked up the second balls and we really hurt them. What let us down was our decision-making in the final third and the final ball. In the second half, it got scrappy and we couldn't control the ball. There were too many misplaced passes and a bit of frustration too.
On the goals conceded...
“We spoke about Bradford's set pieces, and at the end of the day that's what cost us - two very soft goals. It has certainly been the story of the season since I've been here. We give away too many soft goals. The second goal and the manner of it sucked the life out of us, and really kicked us in the teeth. It was a soft goal and the game was over then really.”
On the changes made...
“I changed the team and I tried to get us more high-speed and running into key areas. Callum [Brittain] was in his best position and gave us good energy, Josh [Tymon] did too. Tav [Marcus Tavernier] and Ike [Ugbo] were good too. There was a bit of inexperience – we need to be more clinical, more selfish and get more shots away.”
On taking confidence into Scunthorpe United...
“I felt we showed some confidence for a team under pressure and on a bad run. We have to try and take confidence from this tonight and put on a performance and get a result on Saturday in our final home game.”
On the fate being all-but-sealed...
“I'm devastated if we're down, and the players will be too because it means so much to them.”
MK Dons will look to return to winning ways in their Stadium MK finale against Scunthorpe United this Saturday afternoon.
The match has been designated as the Buckingham Big Day, meaning residents with an MK18 postcode can purchase tickets at a discounted rate of £10 adults and £3 for under-18s.
General sale tickets are priced at £22 adults, £17 over-65s/under-21s and £7 under-18s while under-12s go FREE with a Young Dons membership.
To book tickets click HERE, visit the Box Office at Stadium MK/kiosk at centre:mk or call 0333 200 5343. Tickets will be available to buy right up until kick-off