Wolves loanee Theo Corbeanu wants to bring goals and assists to fill in where Matt O’Riley left off
The departure of Matt O’Riley to Celtic last week has not added any extra pressure on Theo Corbeanu’s shoulders to reproduce his numbers.
O’Riley scored seven goals in the first half of the season for MK Dons, adding five more assists too while playing a heavy role in the involvement of the way they have played under Liam Manning.
But his move to Celtic last week leaves a hole in that production line, but it is a role which Corbeanu believes he can fill.
The 19-year-old, on loan from Wolves, swapped the blue and white stripes of Sheffield Wednesday for the white of MK Dons earlier this month as both he and his parent club sought a more attacking role for him than the left wing-back position he was playing at Hillsborough.
Impressing in each of his three appearances since arriving from Molineux, Corbeanu opened his scoring account in some style with a thunderous volley from the edge of the Fratton Park box in Dons’ 2-1 win over Portsmouth and he hopes there are many more goals and assists to come as he looks to step up into the breach left by O’Riley.
“I wouldn't call it a pressure, but I play my game,” he said. “The goals and assists will come naturally if I play my game. Matt brought a lot of goal movements to the team, so it's something I'll have to add more and more but that's definitely an aim of mine - to provide more for the team.
“The goal was to get me into a more attacking role, this is where I'm comfortable, where I feel I'm best and where I can hurt the opposition. This was a big factor contributing to the move and I'm very happy with it. I want to get as many goals and assists as I can.
“I feel like I've played alright but there are levels I've not hit which I want to. There is another level I have to hit but the first three games were very positive. There is a lot more to come.”
Corbeanu’s Dons career may be short thus far, but on Saturday he experienced first hand their shortcomings when they were locked out by relegation scrappers Doncaster Rovers. After conceding on the counterattack, Dons were unable to get back on level terms, despite having 25 shots on goal.
The Canadian international said Dons must capitalise on their early chances in games to put teams to bed before they have the chance to hurt them, as Doncaster did.
He said: “It was disappointing and frustrating to lose to Doncaster. If we can get the first goal against sides like that, get our rhythm going and capitalise on our chances, we have to bury them early.”
“We've had good, positive performances and we'll look to continue that. We're in a good position, we have a good shot at getting promoted but we're taking it one game at a time.
“The position we're in in the league is a positive one. We can really look to push on now and continue our winning ways.”