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Fixture News

Jackson: Excited for upcoming challenges

Head Coach Mark Jackson looks ahead to tonight's Sky Bet League One clash with Bolton Wanderers at the University of Bolton Stadium...

14 February 2023

MK Dons face three of Sky Bet League One’s top four teams over the next two weeks and Head Coach Mark Jackson says he and his players are excited and ready to embrace the challenge that awaits them.

Jackson’s Dons travel to fourth-placed Bolton Wanderers this evening before visiting Hillsborough Stadium MK this weekend to face Sheffield Wednesday, who currently occupy second. They then return to Stadium MK next Saturday, with third-ranked Ipswich Town the visitors to Milton Keynes.

Despite going into all three matches with MK Dons viewed as heavy underdogs, Jackson wants his players to believe in themselves and take advantage of the opportunity to test themselves against the best in the division.

“We look forward to playing all these games,” Jackson said in his pre-match press conference. “We love playing football - the players love the matchday experience and competing out on the pitch, it's what we all want to do.

“When you talk about the teams coming up, the so-called bigger teams in the league, it's got to be exciting. It's exciting for me as a coach, and it should be the same for the players.

“I've got full belief in the players, and I hope they understand that. We need a bit more composure with our final actions but we're creating more chances as a team now and we're getting into more threatening areas.

“(Bolton) are a good, strong team, who had a good win at the weekend. They play a certain style of football, they score goals, and they play on the front foot.

“We'll have to be on our game to deal with that. I spoke about the discipline we needed when we played Bristol Rovers a couple of weeks ago and I think we'll need that against Bolton in moments too.

“But, I also want the players to have freedom to show what we can do. I want us to be progressive and forward thinking because we've got the capabilities and firepower to cause them problems as well.”

Jackson added: “We'll be ready for that challenge.”

Here is what else Mark Jackson had to say in his pre-match press conference…

On Saturday’s point at home to Oxford United…
“It's important when you can't win games, you don't lose them. The game was there to be won on Saturday, which is where our frustrations come, but we had to stand strong and defend towards the end and we came away with a point.

“We could be looking back at it as a good point come the end of the season, rather than two points dropped.”

On keeping composure in the final third…
“We got into some great positions (against Oxford United) but once we get into these positions, we have to show more composure. If we had done that, we would have got a second goal and it would have made the game easier.

“These things happen sometimes and chances are missed. We just have to stay calm, positive and composed when these situations arise again.

“We know where we can improve and we'll work together to get better with these things.

On Sullay Kaikai’s impact…
“I've been really pleased with Sullay, he's hit the ground running. He's a really good learner and he wants to get better, so he's embraced everything we've said and done with him.

“His goal on Saturday was great with the way he cuts in. He can also go on the outside and cross it in too so he poses a real attacking threat for us. He's a really disciplined player as well and he works hard for the team.

“In Sullay and Jonathan (Leko), we've got real threats going forwards now.”


Tickets for tonight's game are no longer available to buy. Supporters without a ticket are advised not to travel as there will be NO away sales at the University of Bolton Stadium ahead of kick-off.

Can't make the game? Supporters can WATCH this fixture live on iFollow MK Dons for £10 - to purchase a Video Match Pass CLICK HERE!

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