No half time bite or bark from Richie in Walsall draw

Richie Barker

Richie Barker

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Caretaker boss Richie Barker did not read his squad the riot act after a lacklustre first half performance in the 1-1 draw with Walsall on Saturday.

Dons looked dank and drab for much of the first half, despite starting positively against the Saddlers. So when Scott Laird's header beat David Martin after 28 minutes, heads dropped and the performance suffered.

However, a renewed Dons emerged at half time, and Dean Bowditch rescued a point with a last-gasp strike.

"I'm not one for throwing teapots about," Barker admitted. "But I made a few adjustments at second half and let them know what was coming, and we got our reward.

"We knew we had to stay in the game - whenever you're just 1-0 down, you know you're always in with a chance. And to be fair I thought we could have nicked it.

"I thought we started reasonably in the first 20 minutes, moving the ball about quickly without really troubling the goalkeeper. In terms of the game plan defensively, we stuck to it and David Martin barely touched the ball. But they scored with their second chance.

"You have to pick up games in all different ways, especially when you're at the wrong end of the table. We continued to try to play in the way this club does, but at times, certainly towards the end, we were trying to make them make mistakes. We they almost did.

"Fair play to Walsall, they broke up the play with cramp... it could have been at least 10 minutes of stoppage time and we only got six. Maybe another four and we could have nicked it. Hopefully, when we get our noses in front, we might go down with cramp. It's all a learning curve. Today, they've earned their wages."

As the manager-hunt continues for Dons, now three weeks since Karl Robinson departed, Barker said he hasn't heard anything new with regards to a replacement.

He added: "Long term future for me is training on Monday and Tuesday - that's as long term as it gets!"