Lewington calls for Plan B as Dons suffer third defeat in four

Wigan Athletic 3-0 MK Dons

Saturday, 6th March 2021, 10:31 pm
Dean Lewington

MK Dons have to find another way of dealing with teams who put them under pressure in order to become as successful as they want to be, according to Dean Lewington.

Their bold style of play seems to split opinion, with some weary and nervous when Dons play out from the back, while others see the benefits of doing so. Oxford's early pressing allowed Dons to capitalise and score early at Stadium MK last weekend, and Gillingham's early stand-off approach also allowed Dons to open the scoring.

But when Gillingham put Dons under more pressure thereafter, they eventually came out on the winning side, while Dons collapsed in pitiful fashion against struggling Wigan on Saturday. While Dons had won four out of five, they have now lost three out of their last four and sunk from 11th to 16th in the League One standings.

For the Dons skipper, talk of how good the team potentially could be is redundant given their current spot in the table, and he believes while their style of play is the right way of going about their football, they need a different approach to curtail their current slump.

"We have to find other ways at playing teams who press the way they do," he said after the defeat at Wigan. "We have to keep evolving it and improving it, but the general basis is that when it works it's very good, but we have to have more good days than bad.

"The last couple of weeks hasn't been good enough, there's no use hiding from it, no excuses, we just have to be better.

"Another three goals shipped – I don't care who you're playing against, you cannot concede three goals away from home. And after three in the week, four against Shrewsbury. We gave ourselves absolutely no chance of getting anything from the game.

"The way we play means every team will have 11 men behind the ball. We have to work hard to break teams down and get through their lines. When we lose the ball, we're sometimes lighter at the back and we have to do better in those moments.

"We can't sit 14th, 15th wherever we are and spout how good we are. We are where we are for a reason. We play nice football at times, we have the potential to be a good team, the nucleus is there and the idea of what we want to do is there, and you've seen it at times how good it can be, but we have to get better at what we're doing.

"We won't blame anyone, we're all culpable. We all need to be better, pick better chances and make better passes and maybe be a bit more bold in the final third."