Keeper Nicholls disappointed at opening day defeat

Lee Nicholls felt Dons were unlucky to lose against his former club Wigan Athletic in the season opener on Saturday.

Saturday, 5th August 2017, 7:12 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th September 2017, 12:16 pm
Lee Nicholls

Nick Powell's 38th minute goal was enough to snatch all three points for Wigan in a game marred by two sendings off.Nicholls, playing his first game in his new number 1 shirt and against his former employers, made a string of excellent saves to keep his side in it in the second half as Wigan threatened to run riot, while at the other end, Christian Walton had precious little to do.

But despite the number of chances greatly favouring the visitors to Stadium MK, Nicholls felt his team-mates were unlucky to come away with nothing.

"I wanted to come in and have as little to do as possible and come away with three points. But football isn't black and white - we have to deal with what's thrown at us and unfortunately we got beaten 1-0. We stood toe to toe with them and I think we did well.

"(Wigan) have got a big squad and I think they'll be up there, but I honestly think we will be too. The new lads who have come in have been different class. I'm excited to move on to Tuesday where we need to get a winning mentality.

"We were just unlucky really. I haven't seen the red cards back, but before the goal we were starting to get on top and before Scott's red card we were getting in control. It was just a mad game of football to be honest.

"The goal came from our counter, and then they countered us. We were out of shape and caught off guard, but that's football. We've just got to learn from our mistakes and move on."

As Dons' new number one, Nicholls has big shoes to fill as he replaces David Martin, but his performance against Wigan will have proved any potential doubters wrong about his abilities, making several key saves to deny the visitors.

Nicholls admitted though there were elements of his game he is keen to improve.

He said: "I'm a bit of a perfectionist, and there are bits I'd like to improve and tweak. I can't complain really and I'm happy with my own performance.

"As a professional, if you don't look at these things and don't want to improve, you'll stand still. I've set a standard now and I have to match it every week."