Mark Jackson is pleased to see his MK Dons side building momentum at the right time but knows there is still a long way to go to accomplish their goal of Sky Bet League One survival.
Jackson’s Dons beat Morecambe 1-0 at Stadium MK for their third successive league victory – a result which moved up to 19th in the table and, crucially, four points clear of the bottom four.
“It's really pleasing,” Jackson said in his post-match press conference. “We've got a bit of momentum now, and at this stage of the season we know how important that can be.
“The last three games against teams in and around us have been really important. The application, attitude and execution of what we wanted to do has been fantastic, and we've been rewarded with three victories so we're really pleased.
“There's still a lot of work to do, and it's a massive end to the season to come, but at crucial times, you need that bit of momentum, confidence and a spark to lift everyone. It feels like we've got it at the moment and we need to keep it going and get even stronger.”
On the performance against Morecambe itself, Jackson said: “We could have set up to get more pressure on the ball higher up the pitch, but we wanted to keep our structure with the left and right 10s, we knew when we could intercept we could transition into Conor Grant especially.
“There has to be give and take when you set up for a game, and we had to sacrifice that a bit. We could have been more aggressive with how we defended in the first-half, but in the second, we got them into positions and we forced mistakes.”
As well as making it three wins in a row, the Dons also kept a third straight clean-sheet for the first time since April 2021. On the importance of being solid at the back, Jackson said: “ We want to be aggressive at the back to limit teams of opportunities, so having three clean sheets is fantastic.
“We know we've got goals in us, and we can create and score more which should be our aim going forwards, but we'll need to maintain that defensive structure, and get more pressure in the final third to put the ball in the back of the net more frequently.”
Here is what else Mark Jackson had to say…
On Jonathan Leko scoring on his return…
“I know he was disappointed (with the suspension) and I was too with what happened. He worked hard in training, and came back in to the team which shows the confidence we have in him as a player. We knew he would impact the game, and he did with the goal.”
On Josh McEachran’s impact…
“He's such an experienced and intelligent player and he's been superb for us. He contributed massively toward the three points.”
On the Port Vale game being a turning point…
“It was a big moment. Nothing is done yet but when we look back, it might be a moment when there was a massive shift for us. We spoke a lot about that period between the games, we addressed a lot of things, and more importantly, we responded to everything we spoke about. We've got to keep fighting now.”
On the supporters…
“The fans are massive for any club, they're always here for us through the good and bad times. I wanted to go around them at the end, and say that we really appreciate what they do for the club.”
On Jack Tucker’s form…
“I think he is really coming into it now. He's taken a bit of stick, as we all have when we've not performed well, but he's stayed strong, and has grown as a character. We know his ability as a footballer, but sometimes when you go through tough times, it helps mould who you are and that will help him going forward.”
Mark Jackson's MK Dons go in search of a fourth successive league win when they take on Wycombe Wanderers at Adams Park this weekend.
Tickets, which are available to buy from the Box Office and online, are priced at £26 adults, £23 seniors, £21 mid-adults, £19 young adults, £15 juniors and £6 children. Coach travel, meanwhile, is priced at £18 Season Ticket holders and £20 all other supporters.
To book tickets/travel 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.