Dons' defence were drilled on Gillingham's threats but failed to deal properly

Gillingham 3-2 MK Dons

Wednesday, 3rd March 2021, 6:00 am
Warren O'Hora got Dons back on level terms in first-half stoppage time
Warren O'Hora got Dons back on level terms in first-half stoppage time

The MK Dons players knew how Gillingham would try to exploit their advantages but didn't deal with it properly at Priestfield, according to Warren O'Hora.

Despite capitalising on the hosts' standoffish start when Will Grigg finished a 55-pass move to fire in after four minutes, Dons fell victim to two long throw-ins - one of which resulted in a penalty, and a misplaced Andrew Surman header as they went down 3-2 - their sixth defeat in eight outings at Gillingham.

While O'Hora netted his first senior goal deep into first-half stoppage time to draw Dons level at 2-2 at the break, he said there were no excuses for the defeat and only the players were to blame after being fully prepared in the build-up for what Gillingham would offer in the way of a threat.

"I think we started too well," he said. "We knew what was coming – they all told us what would happen. We knew the ball would come down our throat, that's the way Steve Evans likes to play, it's very different to us. So it's hard to take considering it's a totally different style of play, it's a kick in the teeth really.

"Most teams have been pressing us this season, Gillingham didn't for the first five minutes, we had 55 passes and scored the first goal. After that, you heard their manager screaming for 85 minutes to press. That's the point we want to get to, but by that stage we should be 2-0 up and defending our box better.

"The staff do so much work with us to get to that point in the second half where they don't want to press, we make 700 passes, we tired them out, but that's all the staff can do for us. Us as individually, me especially, have to defend the box better.

"We scored two goals away from home and that should be enough. We didn't defend properly for three actions, and it has cost us.

"We know we need to improve, it's just so hard to take after the way we started the game. That has been a problem for us this season. But after that, they got two goals from our own mistakes. We need to really look at it, we know what we need to do. But we've got games coming up, we know where we are in the table and we need to focus on Wigan now.

"We're judged on results at the end of the day, and where we are in the table."