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Fixture News

Jackson: The aim is always to win

Head Coach Mark Jackson looks ahead to his side's Sky Bet League One clash with Sheffield Wednesday...

17 February 2023

Fixture News

Jackson: The aim is always to win

Head Coach Mark Jackson looks ahead to his side's Sky Bet League One clash with Sheffield Wednesday...

17 February 2023

Mark Jackson insists MK Dons will travel to Hillsborough Stadium with the intention of winning the game, despite their opponents’ lofty league position and excellent home form.

Jackson’s Dons face Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday – a side who currently sit second in the Sky Bet League One table and are without a defeat in their last 18 league matches. They also haven’t conceded a goal at Hillsborough Stadium in 750 minutes of football.

While aware of the tough test that awaits this weekend, the MK Dons Head Coach says the aim remains the same for his side.

“Every time we step on the pitch we have a responsibility to win the game no matter who we're playing,” Jackson said in his pre-match press conference. “We're going out there to win and take home three points.

“Different games might look different in terms of how we set up and play but we always set up to go and get three points.

“Wednesday are a good team. They're flying high, with good physicality but we've got to try and match their fight. We have to be strong with how we navigate the game and then, when we get the chance to play, we have to show our style.”

Jackson added: “They'll be a threat but we're looking forward to it. We want to test ourselves against the best, in games with good atmospheres.”

The Dons go into Saturday’s match on the back of a heavy defeat at Bolton Wanderers in midweek. Discussing how hard it has been to move on from Tuesday’s loss, Jackson said: “It's difficult.

“We were hurting on Tuesday because we never want results like that. We want to show what we can do for the fans and reward them for the support they give us, so it hurts a hell of a lot (when we can’t).

“But we have to get out of that mindset and learn from it quickly. There were clear parts of the game we needed to get better at, particularly set plays, and we've looked at that since.

“Hopefully we've got it out of our system and, from what I’ve seen from the players, we have. We’ve dissected it, looked at where we can get better, and there was a group acceptance that we need to improve and bounce back on Saturday.”

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

On defensive options…
“We made a change against Bolton with Tennai (Watson) coming out because of a small hamstring problem - it was more precaution and he was able to come on at half-time and fit back in well.
“We've got limited options at the back but, until the Bolton game, we have been relatively pleased with how we've performed defensively, in and out of possession. Then, take away the set-play goals, and we're feeling different after Tuesday night. We know we have to get better, we have to give more in those areas and moments, but we'll be ready for it.”

On Jack Tucker’s form…
“Since I came in, I've been impressed with Jack. I've been happy with him, his performances and how he's been playing. He wants to listen and he wants to get better.

“Players have dips and that's football. If a player was performing at their best every single game of a season, it would be very unusual - you'll always have dips. We’ve told the players when you have those dips, you've got support around you, and if a mistake happens, then we recover for each other.

“We all know there's room for improvement, that goes for me, Jack and all the players. We all have to strive to get better, but I've no problems with Jack at all.”

On Anthony Stewart…
“It'll be a few more weeks than we thought. We've not got a timescale on it but it will be longer than a couple of weeks. If he responds well in the next eight to 10 days, it might be shorter but we'll have to see how he reacts to the treatment.”

On other injury concerns…
“Dawson (Devoy) was feeling ill this week. He's played a lot of football for us recently and has been influential for us, but we'll have to see how he is.

“Ethan Robson is back in training but the game on Saturday is too soon for him. He could be back in contention for the game against Ipswich (Town).”

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