Dons' first choice keeper spot is 'up for grabs'

Lee Nicholls and Stuart Moore
Lee Nicholls and Stuart Moore

Stuart Moore could be MK Dons first choice goalkeeper this season, according to Lee Nicholls.

Nicholls, who kept 15 clean sheets in 43 appearances, was dropped in favour of Moore in February last season for six games, but came back into the side in March as Dons went on to secure automatic promotion.

But Moore's performances last season, and his strong return to pre-season training has Paul Tisdale considering his choices ahead of the first game of the League One campaign.

While Nicholls is keen to start at Gigg Lane when Dons take on Bury in August, he admitted Moore is a worthy opponent in the fight for the number one shirt, which they have both been told is up for grabs.

"We've both come back level, we know the shirt is up for grabs, both of us have to fight for it," he said. "All the best to Stu, I love him, and want him to do well. If he gets the nod, he gets the nod. Whoever Tis and Mel go with, so be it.

"I'm only concentrating on getting the shirt. It's up for grabs. Stuart has come back in good shape, he's looked sharp and it will be a good battle between us. Let's hope the right choice is made by Tis for the first game of the season."

Goalkeeping coach Mel Gwinnett said he does not consider the position to be cemented from the first game of the season, instead believing keepers can be changed like any other player on the field and believes both Nicholls and Moore have a valid claim to start against Bury.

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He said: "I'm not a big one for 'number ones.' We have three competitive goalkeepers – it's a fair fight for me. The best one gets the jersey.

"Lee needed a reboot last season, it wasn't his fault and the whole team got shaken up, but Stuart came in and helped get us back on track. It's important that if a keeper has a loss of form or injury, you can take him out of the firing line and have the confidence in the next person to go in. But one tends to have the shirt and holds it for the season."