It was a Saturday afternoon to remember for Matt O’Riley who was named Plumbing & Gas Solutions Player of the Month prior to Kick-Off, and Man of the Match following the full-time whistle.
The midfielder covered every blade of grass as he helped MK Dons pick up all three points against Portsmouth, such was the level of his performance he was named Man of the Match.
Ethan Robson’s second-half strike secured the 1-0 win over Danny Cowley’s side, with the Dons celebrating his goal in front of the Cowshed.
O’Riley noted how special moments like match-winning goals are now football fans are back in stadiums and highlighted the impact they can have on performance levels.
“It’s a brilliant moment to celebrate with the fans. They make football more enjoyable and having that sense of support makes you want to run the extra yard. You put your foot down and go for it a bit more so it’s a massive boost having them back.
“I want to say thank you to the fans really. I’m grateful to be here and playing football. I’m doing a job I love and I’m so grateful to be here. Thanks to them for voting for me, I hope I can repay them with more good performances”
Liam Manning has a number of central midfield options available to him with Hiram Boateng, Matt O’Riley and Ethan Robson all making up the midfield three on Saturday. Added to that trio are Josh McEachran, David Kasumu and John Freeman.
O’Riley, however, admits he likes the competition for places and believes it gets the best out of everyone in the squad.
“We’ve got some really good midfield options. Even David who is coming back – we all know he’s a joke as well. I think depth is important because it gives us tough decisions, but makes us push each other in training to get the most out of each other. If we’re really going to get the most out of this season, we need the depth.”