Dan Micciche insists MK Dons side go into Saturday’s important Sky Bet League One clash against Doncaster Rovers with confidence, as they look to return to the form which saw them collect 10 points out of 12 last month.
Micciche’s men breathed life into their survival fight with a run of three wins from four in March and it will take a similar stretch of results in the final weeks of the season to see them climb out of the bottom four in Sky Bet League One.
They will be looking to kick-start that run this weekend when they entertain Donny at Stadium MK, in their penultimate home fixture of the campaign.
“I don't like labelling games [as must-win] but we know we've got to go and get points,” Micciche told the media in his pre-match press conference.
“Doncaster are a good footballing side and they're in a good position in the table. Every team has something to play for because they're professionals and they'll want to do their best on Saturday.
"We know what to expect but if we can perform like we can we’re confident we can get a result.”
The Dons go into Saturday’s fixture on the back of their heaviest defeat of the season – a 5-1 reverse to title-chasing Wigan Athletic at the DW Stadium.
Micciche, though, has seen the response he wanted from the players this week in training.
“I made the point on Saturday that we just wanted to get out of the stadium, and not discuss it there and then – I didn't feel it was the right time to reflect.
“We came in on Monday, and I told the players it hurt me and my staff. I expected it to hurt them too and I expected a response – I’ve had that and they have trained really well.
“I've not forgotten Saturday and neither have the players – the only way to get it out of our system is with a performance this Saturday.”
Here’s what else we learnt from Micciche’s pre-match press conference...
On the defeat to Wigan Athletic...
“The difference between us was that they were more clinical. Look at their result in the week – for anyone to be 4-0 up at Rochdale after an hour tells you everything about them. As much as we weren't at it in certain aspects, which we've discussed, I believe we could have got a result there because any team is beatable – that’s what I'm most frustrated about, especially when we were at 2-1, it was there for us.”
On results in Sky Bet League One this week...
“I think they all, except one, went for us. They won't all go our way, though. We have to take [other results] into account but I'm not going to start changing and panicking, and start showing league tables. We know what we've got to do and if we can do that, we can put pressure on everyone else. If you sat there and analysed it too much, you'll lose sight of what you have to do. There will be many more twists and turns before the end of the season, I’m sure.”
On the injury situation...
“[Josh Tymon and Marcus Tavernier] are in full training again, doing well and in contention for Saturday. We'll see how they are [Thursday and Friday]. Osman [Sow] is about a week away. Lee [Nicholls] has picked up an injury – we're monitoring him but I'm not ruling him out for Saturday yet.”
On Ethan Ebanks-Landell...
“Ethan will be disappointed [with last Saturday] – he didn't want to score an own goal and most defenders this season have had a hard time against [Will] Grigg, [Nick] Powell and [Michael] Jacobs – we can't be too hard on him. What I do know about Ethan is that he's come on as a sub at critical times and performed for us. He has started a few games and he is excellent in training. He has given us good competition for places and he's kept the other defenders on their toes. If you think Elliott Ward is playing well, it's because Ethan is keeping him on his toes. I'm right behind him.”
Tickets are priced from £22 adults, £17 over-65s/under-21s* and £7 under-18s while under-12s go FREE with a Young Dons Membership*.
Supporters can upgrade to East Centre for a £5 premium while a seat in clubRed is available for £10 more.
Club Dons members are entitled to a £2 discount on tickets, while Young Dons can save £1 on the matchday ticket price. Adult Season Ticket holders may purchase an additional adult, senior or under-18 ticket at the members’ rate. Season Ticket holders cannot purchase an under-21 or under-12 members ticket.
To book tickets click HERE, visit the Box Office/centre:mk kiosk or call 0333 200 5343. Tickets will be available to buy right up until kick-off.