Debutant admits to Dons complacency

MK Dons midfielder Luke Howell admitted his side thought they merely had to turn up to beat lowly Mansfield.

Howell made his full professional league debut in place of the injured Alan Navarro at the heart of the Dons midfield in Tuesday night's 2-1 smash and grab win at Field Mill.

The 20-year-old free transfer from Gillingham conceded that the Dons were perhaps complacent going in to the game with The Stags, who lie rooted to the foot of League Two after five straight defeats.

He told the Citizen: "I thought we started a bit slowly and, not knowingly, thought we were top and they were bottom and that we could

just turn up and win the game.

"But they proved us wrong, had a lot of desire and made it hard for us

and I think that's why we struggled.

"They weren't the biggest of teams but they put themselves about, it was hard out there and they're the sort of games you're going to get away from home."

If making your full debut isn't enough pressure, Howell was standing in for a man who has won every game he's started for the Dons!

"Navarro's done really well since he's come in and the gaffer said to me before the game to try and do his job, break things up and let Keith go forward.

"I thought I did alright, we weren't given a lot of time on the ball and I thought I could have used it a bit better, but overall for my first game back from injury I'm pleased."

After five straight wins the Dons now sit at the top of League Two, two points ahead of Chesterfield, but Howell says they aren't getting carried away yet.

"It's brilliant to be top of the league but all we can do is focus on the next game. We've now got two home games on the bounce so we're looking for six more points.

"We want to keep our feet on the ground at the moment. If you go off thinking you've won the league already you're wrong, it's only October, but if we can go on like this we'll be up there and we've just got to take each game as it comes."

Howell has a fight on his hands to keep his first team spot for this Saturday's home clash with Bradford as assistant boss Ray Mathias told the Citizen that Navarro should be fit after his slight medial knee ligament strain.

Striker Leon Knight is allowed to play against the Bantams despite picking up his fifth booking of the season at Mansfield as his suspension does not start for seven days.