Neilson's pleased for Maynard to get the monkey off his back

Robbie Neilson
Robbie Neilson
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He may have just scored his first goal of the season, but manager Robbie Neilson would love to see striker Nicky Maynard score a hat-trick against Chesterfield on Monday.

Maynard scored the third in Dons' 3-2 win over Swindon Town on Friday night - his first goal of the season and also his 100th career strike - while fellow front man Kieran Agard got his seventh and eighth goals of the season as he bagged a brace.

With Maynard himself wanting to go on a goal-scoring run, Neilson was delighted for his striker to finally open his account this season, but has set the bar high for him.

"Hopefully he’ll be on to his next one, 101, 102 and 103 at Chesterfield!" said the manager. "He has been working really hard and his work rate is terrific, but the rest have a responsibility to help him score goal by setting him up like they did tonight.

"Sometimes, when you get these landmarks, you need a little help getting over them, but now it’s done and I hope it’s a release for him. There have never been questions over his work rate or his ability.

"For me, from the minute I’ve walked in, he has been great, led the line and worked hard. When I first came, he was making run after run, as was Kieran, but the ball wasn’t being passed through to him."

After Boxing Day's 1-0 defeat to Charlton, Neilson called for his side to be more clinical when they are on top of teams, and he got an immediate response from his players, with Agard scoring twice in the opening 25 minutes as Dons dominated against the Robins, who struggled with the pace of Dons going forward.

He said: "That was the difference between today’s game and the game against Charlton – we had a period of 30 minutes where we were on top and we got two goals. When you’re on top, you have to at least score, and we got two which gave us a nice cushion."

But while they never really looked in trouble, Swindon found the net twice through goals which disappointed the Dons boss, and almost snatched an unlikely equaliser late in the day through John Goddard.

Neilson added: "I was disappointed. I felt we should have dealt with the first goal better, it was the first time they’d even been up the park.

"First, we should have stopped the cross, then we had to deal with it and then what would happen if we didn’t deal with it. It was a comedy of errors, really.

"And the second one led from a decision that didn’t go our way in the centre of the pitch, but thankfully we managed to hang on."

While the transfer window opens on January 1, and with Neilson hoping to do business early on in the month, there are no expected incomings due ahead of Monday's trip to Chesterfield. However, Neilson says he wants to have a new face in place by the time the club's FA Cup third round clash with Brighton comes around on January 7.

He added: "You hope it’s going to happen on the first day, but then you’re at the mercy of other teams as well.

"I don’t expect anyone in for Chesterfield, but I expect a little bit of business before the Brighton game.

"Everyone wants something to happen right away, as soon as the clock strikes midnight, but it doesn’t work like that."