Plenty of ‘historical issues’ Alexander is battling to overcome at MK Dons
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From lacking creative or attacking confidence to fear of making mistakes, the head coach admitted there are various issues plaguing his side, and some which are only coming to light with more game time.
Twice in consecutive games, Dons have conceded two goals in quick succession when seeing out a period - first they let slip two goals in two minutes against Coventry City on the stroke of half-time, then allowing Northampton to net twice in a similar spell at the end of the game on Saturday.
“It’s a historical issue that we have to deal with,” said the head coach. “There’s no magic wand to get over that one, so we have to make sure we’re mentally stronger as a club, as a team, to make sure when there’s a disappointment, we park it and continue the game.
“We’re worried about taking a step forwards, were always taking a step backwards and it allowed Northampton to dominate the game. It was the opposite of what we've done all pre-season so far. But once we corrected it, we did really well.
“We've learned a lot over the pre-season campaign so far, but we know we've got a job on here. We've got talented boys, motivated boys, but these are the sorts of things we have to correct.”
While the problems are relatively easy to spot, fixing them, Alexander admitted, is easier said than done sometimes.
He continued: “I think you can replicate it a little bit on the training ground, but not fully. You have to give confidence to players, but they also have to take ownership of what has gone on and what's happening now.
“The biggest thing for me is to look forward to what you can achieve in the future. The past is the past, we're not going to change it. We have to clear any minds of that feeling, and that's for the supporters too. We don't want them thinking this is the same old.
“We knew we had a lot of work to do. You don't correct everything in four weeks of pre-season with a new manager. We know that this work will be continuous.”