Robbo pleased with pre-season so far

Karl Robinson
Karl Robinson

Dons’ pre-season campaign in England got off to a good start on Saturday as they won both matches on their double-header.

Boss Karl Robinson was able to name two different squads for the games against Newport Pagnell and Leighton Town, with both sides hitting the net four times.

Dele Alli, Daniel Powell, Dean Lewington and Kabongo Tshimanga fired Dons to a 4-0 victory over the Swans at Willen Road in the day’s first game, while a Stephen Gleeson brace, a Shaun Williams penalty and a late Jacob Daffern strike completed the 4-2 later in the day at Bell Close.

With a number of youth team players involved in both games, Robinson was delighted with the way the games were played.

“This was to spread the word of Milton Keynes Dons,” he said. “It has been a club day. We’ve gone to Newport Pagnell, and Leighton Buzzard and you’ve seen the whole spectrum of players, from older players to the young players, and there wasn’t much difference. They all play the same way.

“We set up a long time ago, something that will see the club right for the future. We’re worked hard with Mike Dove and Dan Micciche, with John Gorman, Mick and myself - you could see the pinnacle of it today.

“We’re a long way off what we want to do, and that’s to have a fully developed programme.

“But we have showed all the fans that we have some really talented youngsters.

“Everything is going well at the moment. There is a core of young players, with Brandan Galloway, Giorgio Rasulo and Dele Alli having squad numbers. “The rest showed their talents today and it puts the club in good stead. The club is in good hands.

“It’s important that we keep doing these things. We had an opportunity to come out into the community. Someone just said ‘I wish we had crowds like this every week’ and it’s great for the community that we can help out.”

But Robinson added that it wasn’t just exercise to get the academy boys a run-out.

He said: “It’s still a pre-season warm-up for us though. The most important thing is that we get the players on the pitch.

“We’re in good form and we’re fit. We are ahead of schedule and I can’t ask much more of the players. You can see the energy already. All the senior players put everything in.”

Saturday’s games were Dons’ fourth and fifth of the week after returning from their tour Ireland on Thursday.

Robinson said he was pleased with the way the tour panned out, which saw them pick up three victories overseas.

“Ireland was fantastic,” he said. “We broke a number of physical records and it’s important we build on that.

“There’s still a lot of work to be done, but it could go down as the best pre-season we’ve ever done. It was remarkable, the output. We’ve had five games since Monday, but all in all we’re in a good place.

“I feel confident, and we still have one or two signings to make.”

Dons face a Brackley Town side on Tuesday night, with a similar mix of youth and experience set to line up, though a full first team could be ready to make the trip to Home Park next Sunday for the game against Plymouth Argyle.

Robinson said: “It’ll be a different team out at Brackley Town on Tuesday night, but by the time we go to Plymouth next Sunday, I think it’ll be a side that will be ready to compete for the year. Rayo Vallecano will be very exciting for us too.

“We feel we’re in a good place, but there’s still a lot to be done. I can’t ask for any more.”