Professional Dons impress boss Neilson

Robbie Neilson
Robbie Neilson

Robbie Neilson was delighted to have come away from back-to-back cup games with two wins after a thrilling Checkatrade Trophy triumph over Oxford United on Tuesday night.

Having seen off Hyde 4-0 on Friday night in the FA Cup, Dons were then victorious on the road once more, winning a thrilling 4-3 battle with the U's at the Kassam Stadium to book their spot in the second round of the Checkatrade Trophy.

Having gone through October without a win to their name, Neilson was pleased to have found the back of the net eight times in two matches, and hopes his side can carry that momentum into their League 1 match with Fleetwood this Saturday when they return to Stadium MK.

"I was pleased with them all to be honest with you," said the Dons boss. "These games are difficult for the players sometimes because of the poor atmosphere here, and they had to remain professional. Over the two games, they did that.

"I'm really pleased to get the win against a very good team. It was a really entertaining game too, a great one for the neutrals and thankfully we've come away with the points and a home draw in the next round.

"We have been through a difficult period to be honest. We had really good periods attacking-wise, and poor defensively, then vice-versa. We hope we're getting back to strong attacks and keeping people out as well."

Making six changes from the FA Cup game, Brandon Thomas-Asante and Gboly Ariyibi found the net in the first half in what was an end-to-end thriller at Oxford, though Jack Payne's double meant it was 3-2 at the break. Rob Hall levelled it up for the home side in the second half before Ryan Seager netted the winner barely a minute later.

But it was the performance of Ariyibi which stood out as his first half brace send Dons in ahead, though the manager was impressed with the rest of his attacking midfield.

He said: "Gboly is a top player. He has great movement, and when you get him into good areas he is fantastic. Our job is to get him into those areas though. And the players around him helped him do that tonight.

"Brandon Thomas-Asante in there, with Aidan Nesbitt too, probably wouldn't give us the defensive side we wanted but the attacking game we needed. Ariyibi and Muirhead too provided a real threat too. When we were attacking, there were times we really lit it up."