Aberdeen loanee Stewart earns plaudits after dominant defensive display for MK Dons

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The former Wycombe Wanderers man put on his best performance in an MK Dons shirt last night

A staunch defensive display from Anthony Stewart earned the Aberdeen loanee all the plaudits during MK Dons’ 0-0 draw with Walsall on Tuesday night.

While Graham Alexander’s side were unlucky not to leave the Poundland Bescot Stadium with all the points after chances for Mo Eisa and Ellis Harrison went begging, it was Stewart’s defensive show which stood out above the rest.

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Making just five appearances in his first loan spell from north of the border last season, Stewart returned to Stadium MK again on transfer deadline day, only making his second first start for the club a couple of weeks ago in the EFL Trophy win over Oxford United.

Starting the subsequent three League Two games, Stewart’s outing at Walsall was as dominant as he has been in a Dons shirt. Saddlers striker Freddie Draper was barely given a yard by the former Wycombe skipper, with the defender more often than not coming out on top of their battle.

Alongside Daniel Harvie and Warren O’Hora, Stewart helped Dons to only their second clean sheet in the league this season, with the Dons fans chanting his name at the full-time whistle.

“I'm happy - the boys defended well from front to back. A clean sheet is what we set out for,” he said afterwards.

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“A clean sheet and a point away from home is never a bad thing, but we wanted three. We have to keep building now.

“Defending is what I want to do, I'll do that day-in, day-out. I don't mind who I come up against, I've played against many big centre forwards in my career. Anyone I come up against, I just try to do my best.”

He drew praise from the head coach too, who said he had full confidence in the 31-year-old to comfortably deal with Draper, who has proven to be a tough contender for others to cope with.

Alexander said: “We know Anthony Stewart, amongst others, has a good character, good personality.

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“We left Stewie one-on-one but he coped with that really well. Walsall had the big guy (Draper) up front today, he's a handful, we've seen him a few times and he's a really good player. But Stewie was excellent.

“I think there were plenty of good performances in there, but the base the back three gave us allowed the rest of the boys to go out and express themselves.”

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