Reserves run-out impressed Robbie Neilson

Aidan Nesbitt made his Dons debut on Saturday against Oxford, but also got 45 minutes against Southend, and found the net too.
Aidan Nesbitt made his Dons debut on Saturday against Oxford, but also got 45 minutes against Southend, and found the net too.

Robbie Neilson feels MK Dons have come up with a strong solution to a problem he spotted when he arrived - the establishment of a development squad.

Under the guidance of Edu Rubio, the second-strong side, made up of Neilson's fringe players and a mix of U18s and U23s, will train and play together regularly this season as a way of keeping players fit and ready should they be called upon in the first team.

Brandon Thomas-Asante scored in Monday's game

Brandon Thomas-Asante scored in Monday's game

READ MORE: Chuks Aneke makes scoring return after six months out
On Monday, Rubio's side made their first outing, beating Southend 5-4 at Stadium MK - a game which saw Chuks Aneke play for the first time in six months after a hamstring injury.

Watching on, Neilson said he was impressed by what he saw from the young side, which also featured deadline day signing Aidan Nesbitt, Conor McGrandles and Robbie Muirhead.

"I was really pleased with it, and that we've now got a reserve team for some of these players," said the boss. "When I first came in, I thought it was a problem. For people like Giorgio Rasulo, and guys like that, you ask them to come into the first team without any competitive games for months. It'll be great for them, the development of young players who are just that but above the U18s.

"These young boys are coming out if the U18s and could only be six months away from the first team. They have to understand what we want and need. Stevie (Crawford) and Neil (MacFarlane) help out Edu, and I'll be giving input at the games. It's important there's not a huge divide or a huge culture shock when these guys step up into the first team.

Chuks Aneke returned after six months out

Chuks Aneke returned after six months out

"Our problem last year was our feeder team was the U18s, and they're playing against 14, 15 year old kids before being made to step up. And then there was the group who were too old for the U18s but haven't been playing first team football.

"It's a good commitment from the club, and hopefully we can advance these players who aren't quite ready for the first team yet."