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Fixture News

Jackson: We have to be clinical in both boxes

Head Coach Mark Jackson reflects on his side's 2-0 defeat to Exeter City at Stadium MK...

31 January 2023

Mark Jackson insists MK Dons must start being clinical in both boxes if they are to avoid results like Saturday and begin picking up points on a consistent basis.

Despite dominating their opponents in terms of possession and chances on goal, Jackson’s men were beaten 2-0 by Exeter City, who scored in each half to secure three points and condemn the Dons to a second successive Sky Bet League One defeat.

Reflecting on the game, the MK Dons Head Coach said: “We're disappointed with the result. I'm happy with some elements of the performance and unhappy with others – ultimately, where we have to be more clinical.
“We started the game well and created opportunities for ourselves but, when we create chances, we have to put them away. When we start games well, we have to capitalise on that and we have to become a ruthless team.
“Having seen (the penalty) back, I’d say I've seen them given and I've seen them not given. I'd be asking for it, of course, but we're disappointed with it because we didn't need to make the challenge.
“These are key moments in games that aren’t going our way, and they come in both penalty boxes. Football is, predominantly, won and lost in both penalty areas and we need to dominate there.
“This is not on any one player, but us as a team, we have to be more clinical. We have to work on it in training, providing repetition in those scenarios, as well as, ultimately, creating more chances and committing more players forwards still having defensive security.
“That's all you can do and, hopefully, that will help build the confidence within the players so on a matchday, they'll start being more clinical. The quality we have is high, I see it on the training ground, but we need to translate it into games.”
Jackson added: “We have to believe. It's now about us as a collective, staff and players together, focussing on a massive game at Bristol Rovers.”
Here is what else Mark Jackson had to say in his post-match press conference…
On Mo Eisa…
“Mo will score goals. He missed a chance today but, unfortunately, strikers will miss chances - that's just a part of the game. Mo is a confident lad and he'll bounce back quickly. I see him in training and he finishes really well, and at Forest Green (Rovers) he scored two fantastic goals. I've got full confidence in him and the team as an attacking threat. We'll get better.”
On Jonathan Leko and Sullay Kaikai lacking match fitness…
“Him and Jonathan have that issue at the minute. These are players that haven't played a lot of football recently but if they work hard in training, they'll get accustomed to how we work and they'll sustain that for longer periods.”
On Matt Dennis joining Sutton United on loan…
“We've got an array of strikers at the club, and felt Matt would benefit from starting more games, which he wasn’t going to do for us at this time. We felt that was a good move for Matt, with an eye on the longer-term for him.”
On the remaining days of the transfer window…
“We're still in the market for a defender, so we're working on that and looking to get the right fit for our squad - hopefully that comes off.
“There is interest in our players. The chairman has been good and he's not pushing us to trim the squad, but we have got a big squad so there has to be some give and take - players don't want to be left out of the squad and we have to have some balance, so some things might happen in that regard in the next few days.”


Mark Jackson's MK Dons turn their attention to Saturday's Sky Bet League One clash with Bristol Rovers at the Memorial Stadium.

Tickets are priced at £25 adults, £21 over-65s/16-21s, £11 under-16s and £6 under-11s. To book tickets CLICK HERE, visit the Box Office at Stadium MK or call 01908 622933. Subject to availability, tickets and travel will be available to book up until 4pm on Friday.

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