Neilson doesn't want 'run of the mill' players despite squad shortage

Robbie Neilson. Pic: Lee Scriven
Robbie Neilson. Pic: Lee Scriven

Robbie Neilson insists he will take his time in the transfer window, despite MK Dons running desperately low on numbers.

Injuries to Dean Bowditch, Scott Wootton, Paul Downing and Jack Hendry left the Dons boss to name four teenagers on the bench for the FA Cup third round trip to Brighton on Saturday, while his counterpart Chris Houghton could afford to make 11 changes to his side and still run out comfortable 2-0 winners.

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Dons have already lost three players since the window reopened - Samir Carruthers, George C Williams and Ryan Colclough - and are expected to lost Hendry back to Wigan when his loan deal expires tomorrow (Sunday) but despite the lack of numbers, Neilson won't be rushed into signing players for the sake of it.

"We're trying to get things done," he said. "It's not a case of desperately trying to get people in and taking anyone for the sake of it. If you do that, you find yourself in trouble a month down the line.

"The key is to get the right players, and hopefully they'll come in sooner rather than later. They'll definitely be coming in though. We don't want to rush.

"There's no point in bringing in a run of the mill League 1 player, we want someone who can help us progress."

The difference between Championship leaders Brighton - undefeated in 16 games coming into the FA Cup third round clash - and MK Dons was plain to see at the Amex Stadium on Saturday.

Barely out of second gear, Brighton cruised to a 2-0 win with Beram Kayal and Tomer Hemed setting each other up in either half to book their fourth round spot with ease.

Neilson felt there were positive signs though.

He said: "I thought there were some pretty good bits, and areas we need to improve a lot. We were disappointed not to win, but for 25 minutes of the second half, we were the better team. There was even a period when I felt if we could have got an equaliser, we could have gone on to win it.

"But then the second goal flattened us, and it made things really difficult.

"They made a lot of changes, but they have the squad to do that. They had international players coming in for better international players. It was always going ot be difficult, but it was important for us to improve on recent performances and we did that today.

"We were a lot more brave after the break, we got after the ball, but our quality could have been better.

"Looking at the game on the whole, it was down to quality of finishing - in the first half, they had one shot and scored, we had four and didn't. It's a difficult place to come, but we've put in a decent performance."

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