Neilson 'always under pressure' as Dons boss

Robbie Neilson
Robbie Neilson

Robbie Neilson said he is under pressure as MK Dons manager, but says slipping within three points of the League 1 relegation zone on Saturday hasn't changed that.

Dons' struggled to come back after throwing away an early lead against Rotherham on Saturday, with two goals in nine minutes from Semi Ajayi and Will Vaulks turning it around for the Millers.
While Dons couldn't match the performance levels shown against Shrewsbury and Scunthorpe, it was a poor showing from Neilson's side - one which saw them drop to 19th in the table, just three points outside the drop zone.

Neilson admitted he is under pressure as Dons boss, but said he is always under pressure to perform, and still has faith in his squad.

"As a manager, you're always under pressure," he said. "My job is to come in tomorrow and get the team ready for Plymouth. I'm excited about the next few games, heading back to Stadium MK.

"I have great belief in this team. We showed in the last few weeks the positives are there and we're progressing. But come today we lose a bad goal and we're back there again. We've got a huge game at home to Plymouth now and we've got to win it.

"It's a disappointing run, with a lot of frustrating draws. We've had performances that have been good, we've not seen games out, we haven't won them but it's a part of football. We're still progressing, but there's a lot of work to be done in January.

"We're not in too bad a position and we're still fighting to get up the league. We've shown flashes today and certainly in the last few games we're able to compete at the top end of the league."

Neilson, now more than a year into his tenure at Stadium MK, said he is in regular contact with chairman Pete Winkelman, who understands the difficult period Dons are going through. But far from discussing his future, the pair are in talks of how to improve the team in the January transfer window.

He said: "I speak to the chairman all the time. We're starting to gear up about the January window. It has been a difficult period, but if you look at Scunthorpe and Shrewsbury - two tough teams at the top of the table - we getting pats on the back but we didn't get what we deserved. Now we've come to a team who have dropped out the Championship and for the first period we dominated.

"There is progression - yes we'd like to have progressed more than this but we haven't. It's time to go forwards again."