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Fixture News

What we learnt: Micciche's Southend presser

The key talking points from the manager's pre-match press conference...

20 April 2018

Last month, MK Dons put together a run of three wins from four to move from seven points adrift of safety in Sky Bet League One to two points clear of the bottom two.

A repeat of that feat in the final three weeks of the season would see the Dons secure their status in the division for another season, which is the aim for boss Dan Micciche and his side who travel to Southend United this weekend.

“We have to approach these games like we did last month when we were seven points adrift and we managed to turn it around,” Micciche told the media in his pre-match press conference.

“We've been in this situation before. We’ve made it more difficult for ourselves but I can't affect previous games now, we have to do it in a different way.

“Other teams will drop points – our relegation rivals play each other on Saturday so they can't both win. There will be nerves, and it will be down to the team which can hold their nerve and the team that comes out fighting. I won't stand for anything else from our lads.”

He concluded: “The priority is winning on Saturday, looking at the other results at 5pm and going from there.”

Here’s what else we learnt from Micciche’s pre-match press conference...
On what it will take to survive...
“We just have to focus on Saturday. Speaking to different people, they throw around different points targets and we've always had one in mind. In the last 10 years, the average has been 49 points and the most has been 52. I think we could spend all our time guessing.”

On the players’ motivation...
“Motivation-wise, they're professional and paid to play for this club. If I saw anyone not motivated, they wouldn't be here. A game like Saturday was frustrating for everyone because we did so many things right but came away with nothing – it was a bitter pill to swallow. I'm learning how to deal with that frustration and how to cope with that. You've got to pick the time and place to deal with your frustrations - I dealt with it differently at Wigan than I did to last Saturday.”

On the left-back position...
“We've gone from having no left backs to having three and we know Robbie [Muirhead] can do a job out there too. Josh [Tymon] has been training all week and his attitude has been good. I've got to put out a team which I think can win at Southend on Saturday.”

On Southend United...
“I'm not expecting them to [let off] because they're professional and playing at home – we’re going there in the frame of mind that they'll be up for it. I know they lost their last game and Chris Powell wasn't happy with it. They've got a good home record and it's a tough place to go, but we said that about Gillingham. We'll go there with confidence in our away form too.”

On the injuries...
“Osman [Sow] is back training so we'll see how he is in the next 24 hours. Lee [Nicholls] we're still monitoring but other than that, we're in a good place.”

On Dean Lewington reaching 700 games...
“It's a fantastic achievement by any professional. What we get from Lewie every day is 100 per cent commitment to what we're doing. He has been terrific since I've been here. We have 20 minutes, half an hour every day discussing various things and his experience will be key in the run in.”

On Alfie Jones...
“Alfie is something I've known for many years, he came as a recommendation from Tottenham [Hotspur] when he was 12. He has matured, he is capable of a big save and showed at Slough [Town] that he's an athletic goalkeeper. He'll make saves you don't expect him to make and when he's trained with us, he is never overawed by it. He's there on merit. We'll keep monitoring Lee in terms of Saturday, but we have full confidence in Wieger [Sietsma] and Alfie – otherwise we wouldn't have them here. I'm 100 per cent confident in all of them.”

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Tickets for Saturday's clash with Southend United can now only be bought at Roots Hall ahead of kick-off.

Tickets are priced at £25 adults, £18 seniors, £17 students/young persons, £12 juniors and £5 under-9s.


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