Simple fixes have got MK Dons back on course, says Neilson

Robbie Neilson
Robbie Neilson

Robbie Neilson says a number of simple changes he has made have MK Dons back on the right track again.

After six-and-a-half-years under Karl Robinson's reign, Neilson has made countless changes behind the scenes in his first six weeks at the club to get it operating the way he wants it.

From the obvious - like changing the backroom staff - to the not so obvious - like rearranging the desks in the offices to sit with his coaches, the new boss feels he is beginning to see his methods come good.

"There have been loads of simple fixes, but it's sometimes a case of seeing it with different eyes," said Neilson, summarising his time at the club so far. "Who is to say what is right and wrong, but any new manager has to do it their way.

"It has been great so far. I'm really pleased with the application of the players, the relationship with the chairman. He has been fantastic and very supportive.

"From a football side, I've been pleased. We've had some good points, some bad points but the progression is there.

"There are some aspects where I've been surprised, but others I can see where the problem has been. It's about fixing these problems. Lots of things are very, very good, but lots of things need vast improvement too. We've been trying to do that from day one."

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The league table though makes for familiar reading. When Neilson took over, Dons were 19th in the table, just outside the relegation zone courtesy of a win over Coventry City. And after their game against Port Vale was postponed on Saturday, Dons slipped back to 19th again, but have two games in hand over the teams around them.

But far from looking down the table, Neilson still hasn't ruled out a shot at the play-offs.

He said: "We have to push up as high as we can and get into the play-offs. It'll be extremely difficult, but if we can get everyone playing right, I don't see why we can't.

"I'm not looking at the wrong end of the table, but up and hunting people down. We want to catch people, and keep pushing. If we win three on the bounce, it'll catapult you up the league.

"Next month is extremely busy, we've got sometime like seven games in 24 days, so the Port Vale might even get pushed to March. It's frustrating because we were playing Saturday-Saturday for a few weeks, but it wasn't to be. We prefer to play, but it means we've got a decent week's training.

"You obviously want the points on the board and play regularly to get momentum, but we've got to win those games."

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