The power of being the boss

Conor McGrandles was one of seven changes to the side on Tuesday night
Conor McGrandles was one of seven changes to the side on Tuesday night

Two dodgy draws and a 4:15am schedule for the next round has left the Carabao Cup's integrity under question - but was Robbie Neilson right to name a weakened squad against Swansea City on Tuesday night?

Taking on Premier League opponents, hurting after a 4-0 defeat to Manchester United on Saturday, the 4-1 scoreline came as little surprise, irrespective of the side which Dons fielded at Stadium MK.

While few fans were upset at the result come full time, more were pointing at Neilson's comments on Saturday night.

He said: "The most important thing is the league, but we'll look at the Swansea game and put out a strong team but we'll have half an eye on the Blackburn game."

Making seven changes from Saturday - which would have been eight had Kieran Agard not pulled out after the warm-up - and fielding a distinctly second-string side, Neilson appears to have gone back on his word. Handing debuts to two - Wieger Sietsma and Conor McGrandles - and giving chances to the likes of Callum Brittain and Giorgio Rasulo didn't really send the same message as he spoke about on Saturday night.

With the ever increasing price to watch football, even with tickets at £12 to watch Premier League opposition, some fans were wondering why they parted with their hard earned to watch what could have been perceived as Dons' reserves put up little resistance against a toiling Swansea, especially when they were told by the boss their side would be 'strong' if not entirely full-strength.

Manager Robbie Neilson

Manager Robbie Neilson

But should it really matter? The Carabao Cup isn't a tournament Dons were ever likely to win, or indeed progress into the later rounds, so it should have been the perfect opportunity to blood Neilson's second string, and it's what he did. Neilson's main priority this season is promotion, so to risk injuries to his first team players in a competition that is, ironically, second string, simply didn't make sense.

Ultimately, team selection comes down to the man in charge. He can tell the media one thing, and go completely against it, distance himself from a player then sign him days later or say he will name a strong side and field a weaker one.

The fans are quite right to be frustrated and to feel mislead, but they should not expect a similar approach to this Saturday's trip to Blackburn Rovers as Dons return to playing their main event.