No excuses from Robbie Neilson after Oxford defeat

Robbie's Reaction
Robbie's Reaction

MK Dons boss Robbie Neilson admitted he was disappointed to have lost to an 88th minute Oxford United winner on Saturday, but remained philosophical after midweek win at Oldham.

While Kane Hemmings' goal with two minutes remaining at the Kassam Stadium ended Dons' six match undefeated run, and extended Oxford's winning streak to five, Neilson's side won in similar circumstances on Tuesday night when Nicky Maynard scored in stoppage time to beat Oldham.

David Martin saved a late Chris Maguire penalty too after Darren Potter downed former Dons loanee Rob Hall in stoppage time - earning the skipper a second yellow card and his marching orders.

Like on Tuesday, there were precious few moments of real quality on show at Oxford, but Neilson said standing on the touchline with three points from the two games is better than two draws.

He said: "We had a game on Tuesday night which should have been a draw, and a game today that should have been a draw, so we should have had two points, but we've got three. We can't be too negative about it.

"It's a hard league to continually win games, there will be periods when you lose, we just have to keep focus now for Tuesday."

Dons started the game brightly, with chances for Chuks Aneke and Stuart O'Keefe squandering good chances before allowing Oxford back into the stale fixture.

"It would have been a different game, especially with the momentum we're carrying through at the moment," said Neilson, lamenting those early chances. "It was disappointing. We showed that with any real quality we could get through, and we had a couple of good chances early doors but over the course of the game, neither side showed much.

"It wasn't a great surface to start off with, so the quality came is fits and flashes.

"We played a team that didn't play midweek, but we had to play until the 96th minute to get our result against Oldham. Oxford have a head of steam, they know what they're doing and have lots of energy in the midfield.

"I thought, we played well for 10 minutes but after that we found it difficult."

There was an air of contention about Oxford's goal though. After Hall was initially downed by George Williams, referee Trevor Kettle allowed the advantage, but after Hall got back up and crossed, play was then pulled back for a free kick, which would result in Hemmings' winner.

Neilson though, despite disagreeing with the decision, felt it was pointless going to speak to the man in the middle afterwards.

He added: "It's a very open law. In my opinion, he tried to get past the player, goes to ground, the advantage is granted, gets back up, tries to pick out a pass in the second phase but the referee decides to give a free kick.

"But there's no point in talking to the referee - he's not going to come back out and ask us to replay it so we might as well move on."

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