Karl Robinson said Stephen Gleeson is “one of the best players I have ever worked with” after the influential midfielder scored on his return to first team action.
After breaking his foot back in December, Gleeson has been badly missed as the general in Dons’ midfield.
In his absence, Dons have won just three of 15 outings, two of those coming in their strong FA Cup.
And although they were cruising at 2-0 against top of the league Doncaster Rovers prior to his introduction with eight minutes remaining on Tuesday night, his appearance and late strike undoubtedly lifted the mood around stadium:mk.
And his attitude off the field during his injury was praised by his manager, who said the 24-year-old is one of the best players he has ever worked with.
Robinson said: “I think the world of the guy. I was told not to put him on, but I whispered to him ‘do you want to come on?’ and he sprinted out to warm-up!
“I didn’t want to put him in the middle where there might have been some added contact. But he’s scored a great goal. I’m so pleased for him.
“He’s really impressed me off the field. He’s as good as any other player I’ve worked with at the club.”
Robinson admitted feeling a bit frustrated after the game though – not because of his side’s performance, which he said was Dons at their best, but at all the suspensions and injuries which have prevented him from playing his best side on a regular basis.
“That’s us at our best, and we’ve not seen it often enough – that front is the one I have wanted to put out all season,” he said.
“We played Sheffield United when they were top and won, played Tranmere away and won – that shows us what quality we’ve got.
“I thought we could have been two or three up in the first half. Hopefully this will kick-start us for the rest of the season. We’ve had so many draws, and we need to turn those draws into wins.”