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Mixed emotions for Rubio following high scoring draw

Edu Rubio reflects on his side's 3-3 draw with Barnet...

20 March 2018

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Edu Rubio praised how his Under-23s side performed with the ball during Monday’s draw with Barnet, however, feels they could’ve defended better as a collective.

The Dons had to come from behind three times to earn a share of the spoils in their Central Development League clash with the Bees as Sam Nombe scored a first-half brace before Connor Furlong netted a later equaliser.

“I’m very pleased with the character from the Under-23s,” Rubio told iFollow MK Dons.

“I’m pleased that we managed to score three goals and we’ve shown that we are a force when attacking. The boys are always happy to get forward and break the lines to make sure we have people in the box – they were exceptional in that regard.

“We probably shouldn’t have put ourselves in that scenario though and that’s the other side of football. Today we were not that good as a defensive unit, that isn’t just the back four, it’s the whole team. I always believe that 11 defend and 11 attack and as a collective team - we could’ve done better.”

“I’m really, really happy with the team and I’m happy they have the mentality to keep going until the last minute, we never give up or throw in the towel and I’m delighted with that. To have that mentality is a very important trait for a footballer - especially when you make it into the first-team.”

Rubio added, “We’ve got plenty of energy, desire and character and I’m really pleased with that but we need to be honest with ourselves as well and make sure we improve on today’s performance as we could’ve been better as a defensive unit within the game.”

Having scored the winner in Oxford City’s win over Welling United on the weekend, Nombe then found the back of the net a further two times in Monday’s draw. His display earned him praise from Rubio who was overjoyed with his all-round performance, as well as his goals.

“I’m really happy with Sam [Nombe] as he was exceptional today. He didn’t just score two goals today, he showed desire, passion, determination and his movement was clever too. Sam is a grafter and always comes here to put his head down and work, whether it’s training or a game his attitude is always the same.

“I don’t like to single out any player because for a striker to score goals you need a keeper to keep shots out, a back four that will play out from the back, and the rest of the side will create chances for Sam – it’s always a collective effort.”

Rubio concluded with a look ahead to the Berks and Bucks Senior County Cup Semi-Final clash with Slough, “It’s important that our players have the ambition of reaching a final, hopefully, a date will be set sooner rather than later, but we are really excited for it. We need to make sure that when the games comes, we are focused and we put in a good performance.”

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