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Fixture News

Jackson: Fully aware of what we need to do

Head Coach Mark Jackson looks ahead to his side's Sky Bet League One clash with Port Vale at Vale Park...

3 March 2023

Fixture News

Jackson: Fully aware of what we need to do

Head Coach Mark Jackson looks ahead to his side's Sky Bet League One clash with Port Vale at Vale Park...

3 March 2023

Mark Jackson says MK Dons aren’t shying away from their current predicament but wants everyone’s energy and focus to go into improving their position rather than worrying about it.

Jackson’s Dons travel to Port Vale on Saturday currently sitting 22nd in the Sky Bet League One table but with an opportunity to climb out of the bottom four by securing three points at Vale Park.

“Of course there’s an awareness of where we are,” Jackson said in his pre-match press conference ahead of this weekend’s game. “I’d be lying to you if I said we don’t look at the league table and the teams around us.

“When you’re near the bottom of the table, there’s an element of anxiety and if you shy away from that, and don’t talk about it, it can be more detrimental than if we’re open and talk to one another as a group. Instead, we can support each other through these moments.

“Sometimes that apprehension comes in when you’re in the position that we’re in. We need to keep reinforcing to the players that we need to be calm and relaxed when we’re playing our game. We need to start like that from minute one and take the anxiety away from the players as much as we can.”

Focusing on Saturday’s opponents, Port Vale, Jackson commented: “We know it’s going to be a real tough game. We’ve watched a lot of them this week and it will be a different game to Lincoln in some respects, but we know how we need to approach it.

“We know what we need to do better (than Tuesday). We have to start on the front foot and in a better mindset so we’ve been working on that. The lads are focused and ready and have a clear approach on the game.”

Mark Jackson revealed no fresh injury concerns heading into Saturday’s fixture but did provide a positive update on statuses of Dean Lewington and Anthony Stewart, who are edging closer to returning to action.

“Skip is now getting up to full speed in training and he took part in the full session today (Friday). There’s a lot of work to do still as he’s had a long-term injury but hopefully he’ll be back available for selection shortly.

“Anthony is back on the grass as well now. He’s only joining in with the warm-up at the moment, but it’s also great to have him back in the group, though there is still no timeframe on his return.

“Just having those players, with experience, in and around the group is really important for us at the moment.”

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

On Tuesday being a turning point…
“Not so much a turning point, for me. It could turn out to be a good point in the grand scheme of things and to get a late equaliser like that we have to be pleased, but I don’t think it’ll be a turning point because we’ve spoken on our goal already and we already know what we need to achieve.”

On Paris Maghoma’s recent impact…
“He’s settled into the team well. Paris is a very good player and a very good prospect at Brentford.

“He wants to impose himself on the game and he can be very creative in the final-third – we were all happy with his first goal on Tuesday night.

“Ultimately, though, he wants to work hard for the team and that’s the main thing. He understands where we are and that we’re in a real battle. He understands that we need to give everything on the pitch for 90 minutes and show our collective quality. He’s a confident and focused young man who wants to help the team.”

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Tickets, which are no longer available from the Box Office, can be bought between 9am and 2.45pm on Saturday through Port Vale's ticketing website, pvfc-shop.com. There will be no in-person sales at Vale Park ahead of the game.

Tickets are priced at £24 adults, £19 over-62s, £16 18-21s and £12 13-17s while under-13s go FREE.

Can't make the game? Supporters can LISTEN this fixture live on iFollow MK Dons for £2.50 - to purchase an Audio Match Pass CLICK HERE!


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