After what seemed like an eternity MK Dons finally returned to action on Saturday afternoon as they took on Newport Pagnell Town in the first of five pre-season clashes.
The game itself enabled Paul Tisdale to cast an eye over the next generation of talent with a mixture of Under-18s, Under-23s and first-team players taking to the Willen Road field.
The likes of Oran Jackson, David Kasumu, Sam Nombe, Liam Sole and Brandon Thomas-Asante were able to showcase their talents to the new manager, while Under-18s such as Jamal Sule, John Freeman, Matthew Sorinola and Charlie Pattison earned their first minutes of the season.
The game was settled in the first-half thanks to goals from Sole and Nombe giving the Dons a 2-0 advantage at the break with Thomas-Asante sealing the victory midway through the second-half.
Talking to mkdons.com following the final whistle, Rubio expressed his happiness with the display, “I’m very pleased with the performance and I think we managed the game very well.
“This game was about getting 45-60 minutes under our belts and making sure we treated the game with respect and avoiding injuries – we done just that.
“I’d also like to congratulate Newport Pagnell as I thought they played very well and treated the game very seriously. I think it was a very good exercise for everyone in the first game of this pre-season.”
Saturday’s win also provided a return to action for Dylan Asonganyi, who, after eight months out injured, made his return to action. The striker looked lively throughout his 45-minute appearance and had it not been for an inspired goalkeeping performance – he could’ve had a goal.
“It was a really good performance from Dylan and it was great to see him back out on the pitch after such a long injury – we know what he can do and he’s still playing how he used too,” Rubio said.
“Oran [Jackson] also had a very good performance, so has Sam [Nombe], Brandon [Thomas-Asante] and Liam [Sole] – to be fair, the whole team has played very well and I’m really pleased with them all.”
“I’d like to thank the Sports Science team because the boys looked very sharp considering it was the first game of pre-season and considering the weather as well.”
MK Dons return to pre-season action tonight as they take on St Neots Town FC. Adults can watch tonight's pre-season friendly with St. Neots Town for just £8 while under-16s go FREE.
Paul Tisdale’s side visit Rowley Park this evening, where first-team players are set to be handed their first run-out of the summer. Kick-off is at 7.45pm.
Entry at the turnstiles is priced at £8 adults and £5 concessions while under-16s go FREE when accompanied by a full-paying adult. Entry is cash only.