DONS need to kill teams off earlier if they are to avoid further upsets this season, according to first-team coach Ian Wright.
Kevin Lisbie’s sly handball in stoppage time had the Dons playing staff with their heads in their hands, but fortunately it didn’t fool referee Robert Lewis as he chalked off what would have been Leyton Orient’s equalising goal.
It would have been a great injustice too, had Orient got anything from the game, after Ryan Lowe’s first half strike turned out to be the difference between the sides as Dons won 1-0 at stadium:mk on Wednesday night.
The home side dominated proceedings, though it won’t be a game that lives long in the memory – more a gritty midweek performance to get away with all three points.
But while their performance on the night was enough to get past the Os, Wright said Dons need to kill off teams when they have the chance to avoid potential late heartbreak.
He said: “I was quite scared because from where I was it looked like he headed it in. But if he did handball it, he’s right to get booked for it. You don’t want to see that.
“It’s never comfortable when it’s 1-0. I thought the first half was really good, but we created enough chances in the first 20 minutes to end it. But the second half wasn’t as good, and that’s what we need to work on.
“We need that consistently all the way through and really finish teams off. It was dangerous at the end there, because they won a few free-kicks and put the ball in there, and you don’t want to be that uncomfortable when you’ve been that good in the game.”
Dean Bowditch returned to the starting line-up after almost a month out and lasted 75 minutes before being substituted and going straight down the tunnel. Antony Kay was also withdrawn late in the game, and he too went down the tunnel for treatment, though Wright doesn’t believe the injuries are too serious.
He said: “Antony Kay got a knee in the hamstring, and Dean Bowditch was just precautionary. We’ve got a lot of games in the next 10 days, so we’ve got to keep the players wrapped up. Hopefully Antony’s injury isn’t as bad as we thought because dead legs are really hard to get over.”
Sheffield United are the visitors to stadium:mk on Saturday in what should be a thrilling encounter between two of League 1’s top sides. And Wright believes that, with two league wins on the bounce, Dons are in the perfect position to strike against the unbeaten Blades.
“We’ve got a good game against Sheffield United on Saturday,” he said. “There’s a lot of confidence in the dressing room at the moment because we’ve got the clean sheet and we know we can create chances.
“At some stage, these missed chances will go in and someone’s going to get a hiding.”