Dan Micciche praised the character of his MK Dons side after a week which saw them breathe life into their survival fight.
Courtesy of Saturday’s 2-1 victory over Bury at Stadium MK, the Dons secured back-to-back victories for first time since September to move within one point of safety with nine games left to play.
Chuks Aneke’s brace proved to be the difference at the weekend as the Dons both demonstrated grit and determination to hold on for all three points after a late onslaught from Ryan Lowe’s side - a stark contrast to the fluent performance which earned them the triumph four days earlier against Rotherham United.
Following the full-time whistle on Saturday, Micciche praised his side’s ability to win in two different styles within the same week.
“It’s been two different types of wins this week,” Micciche told the media in his post-match press conference.
“Let’s make no bones about it, we grinded that result out [on Saturday] and that’s something you have to do at points during the season - you look at any team and they will pick up wins when they aren’t playing well.
“A week is a long time in football – it’s an old cliché but we all know that’s the case. We could’ve collapsed after Bristol Rovers, especially after we had that the trip to Bradford where we travelled all that way for the game to be called off. We’ve then won two big games.
“That said, we still know we’ve got plenty of cup finals to go and no one is getting carried away at all.
Following the full-time whistle on Saturday, Micciche then spent time talking to the Dons faithful to thank them for their support, not only during the game but since his arrival back in January.
“We can’t do this without them. We need to show our appreciation to them and get that connection between the players, the fans and the management staff - we are all one and we are in this together.”
He added: “They were brilliant today and kept signing even when we weren’t playing well – I felt they drove the lads on. We owed them big time and the least I could do was go around and thank them for their support.”
Here’s what else Dan covered in his post-match interview…
On the victory…
“It’s obviously a massive three points for us. I must give credit to Bury - they made it really tough for us. We had to show a different side to us today. We had to show character and tactical discipline and we had to take our chances when they came – Chuks has done that.”
On Chuks Aneke’s double from the spot…
“It was a good education for any player out there that practice makes perfect. He practices his free-kicks and penalties every single day, off his own back, with a focus and a dedication to his craft. I’m really pleased that Chuks got his reward today.”
On impact from the bench…
“We made a tactical change with Ethan [Ebanks-Landell] coming on. These subs can either work for or against you but we just felt we needed some more height at the back. Chuks had given everything so it allowed us to put Robbie [Muirhead] up there with Brandon [Thomas-Asante].”
On Brandon Thomas-Asante…
“Brandon gave everyone a lift. Just before that penalty I wasn’t very happy with him because he had the chance to slide someone in and he didn’t get his head up quick enough. He’s still developing, though. We’ve got to keep his feet on the ground. He’s played in two big games this week and one thing I will say about him is that boy doesn’t get phased by anything.”
On losing Callum Brittain and Robbie Muirhead to international football next weekend…
“We’ll look at that on Monday, because we’ll have to chop and change things going into Blackpool.”
On staying grounded…
“We’ve got to keep our feet on the ground and we need to get some rest now. We put a lot of effort into this week but we’ll come back in on Monday and start preparing for Blackpool, which is a massive game but an opportunity, more than anything else. We’ve got nine opportunities left to get as many points on the board as we can.”
Dan Micciche's MK Dons will look to make it three straight home wins when they take on Blackpool at Stadium MK this Saturday.
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*.
To book tickets click HERE, visit the Box Office/cash-only ticket booths or call 0333 200 5343. Tickets will be available to buy right up until kick-off.