First teamers will return to action in Dons' cut-squad Hungary training camp

Robbie Neilson hopes to welcome back four of his first team when MK Dons begin training in Hungary this week, but said some players will miss out on the trip.

Sunday, 9th July 2017, 10:03 am
Updated Tuesday, 12th September 2017, 11:54 am
MK Dons

The squad fly out to eastern Europe on Sunday afternoon, but it will be lighter on numbers than planned with Neilson cutting the numbers right back to bare bones.

While the likes of Lee Nicholls, Dean Lewington, Scott Wootton and Peter Pawlett - who have missed out on the opening three pre-season friendlies - will return during the camp, Neilson admitted he is leaving some players at home.

"I've cut the squad again," he said. "The standard at this club has to be one that pushes us forwards. If players aren't going to get to that standard, they're not coming with us. We were planning to go with 22, now we're going with 17, 18.

"I'm hoping to have Lee Nicholls, Scott Wootton and Peter Pawlett, but we'll see how Dean Lewington is with regards to the games.

"We got some good news about Scott with his strength tests, so we're looking to push him now. He'll get game time, but he won't start and we'll take him from there. I'm excited to get those four back though, they're key players and it's almost half my team."

One player who will not be going though is contract rebel Ben Reeves, despite sitting in the Dons dugout against Aylesbruy FC on Saturday.Dons will spend a week overseas and will take on two local sides - Szeged 2011 on Wednesday and Budaorsi SC on Saturday before returning home the following day.

Neilson though said it would be no walk in the park, and told the players not to expect any down time.

He said: "It'll be hard work. The players asked if they should be packing casual gear, and I told them not to because we're there to train.

"We're going to the national training camp so we'll use it as much as we can. We'll train three times a day, we're playing twice out there too. The game in England is so gruelling, we play so many games and we have to be physically ready.

"Some of the players in pre-season have been phenomenal, and have given us everything they have in every session. We'll need every player this season giving us everything, because that's the only way we'll get promoted."