It was another disappointing day at the office for MK Dons on Saturday as they fell to a 1-0 defeat against Bristol Rovers.
After what was an evenly contested first half, the Dons fell behind on 50-minutes after Ellis Harrison’s miss-hit cross found its way into the back of the net.
His goal proved to be the difference on the day, as the Dons failed to take up the opportunity to close the gap on the teams above them. They remain 22nd in Sky Bet League One, six points from safety.
Having experienced relegation battles a couple of times throughout his career, Nicholls believes this testing period will be the making of the young players who can become ‘leaders’ as the Dons look to escape relegation.
“Some kids need to step up now and become leaders – it’s going to be a big learning curve in their career,” Nicholls said in his post-match interview.
“If we can string four or five wins together, it’s still possible. We all still believe it can happen and once we win, I think it’ll come - we just have to keep working hard.
“We’re still together, we still have confidence in each other and we just have to stick together. I’ve been in this situation before and the times I have got out of it we didn’t point fingers. We don’t blame anyone and we have to get behind each other.”
Nicholls added, “It was a frustrating afternoon, they’ve had one shot in the second half and it was a cross. That’s just the way the ball is rolling for us at the moment.”
The 25-year-old also reserved special praise for the fans and thanked those who turned up early to ensure the match went ahead.
“The fans did a great job for us and we tried to repay them with the win because they worked so hard for us, but we just couldn’t deliver today.”