MK Dons must learn a host of new formations to play Robbie Neilson's way

MK Dons
MK Dons

Robbie Neilson doesn’t want MK Dons to remain a team easy to predict and play against.

After years of playing in the same 4-2-3-1 pattern, the manager employed many different formations already as he encourages his players to break the mould they became so used to.

From three to four to five at the back, Neilson feels his side are beginning to get to grips with his more fluid style, even changing during games.

Against Bradford, Dons switched from five at the back to four at the back during the second half, before reverting back 15 minutes later as Neilson tried to switch things up.

“You have to be able to change systems,” he said. “Playing three at the back of four at the back totally changes the style.

“Players being able to adapt to that is huge for me. We’ve played both and we tried to flip it during the game at Bradford.

“Having the option and the players on the pitch to do that without having to make a substitution makes a huge difference, you can change the flow a little bit. It’s really important we keep working on that.

“It was something I worked on from the first day I got here, being able to slide into a different formation.

“We’ve not had a lot of time to work on it because we’ve had so many games.

“We’ve got the players here to do it, who can change the way we play and it could help us during the game.”

And it’s a style the players are keen to get on with.

Neilson added: “The players always want to get better.

“If you can offer them the option of playing centre back or left back, centre back or central midfielder, it makes it more entertaining for the player.”

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