Time away will help Dons bond, says Ward

Elliott Ward
Elliott Ward

Elliott Ward hopes time away with MK Dons will help them bond and get through their relegation struggles.

After drawing 0-0 with Rochdale on Wednesday night, stopping a rot of six consecutive defeats, Dons will remain in the north of England ahead of Saturday's game against Fleetwood Town at Highbury Stadium.

Ward, on loan from Blackburn Rovers until the end of the season, said he and some of the other new members of the squad will be singing their initiation songs during their stay, and he hopes it will bring the team closer together.

"We're in each other's pockets now for a few day," he said. "We'll have some recovery sessions, a bit of food together, chill out time together - the new boys have to sing their songs which I can;t wait for! It'll be positive for us, taking on board tonight and moving on together. There's a difference in our work ethic too. We've improved since Saturday, but there's more to come. We're learning together, and it's important we do it together.

"It cuts the travelling down, which is good for us."

Ward put in a man of the match performance against Rochdale as Dons kept their first clean sheet, and picked up their first point since January 13 in the draw with AFC Wimbledon. And it was a point he felt Dons deserved for their showings in recent weeks.

He said: "It's a good point and something we can build on. It's a point we've deserved in the last few games. With a bit more quality, we could have got all three points. But it's only a good point if you can back it up with a win on Saturday.

"If you get a win, it breeds confidence. This point is a boost because we've lost six games in a row. We've had a tough run but to come away from home on a Wednesday night, and we've kept a clean sheet - we have to keep clean sheets. If you don't win games, definitely don't lose it. You have to draw them too.

"We're a new group, with a new manager and new ideas. There's a lot of quality here, but it's about being simple sometimes, doing the right things at the right times and we did that tonight."

Despite Dons still being five points in the relegation zone, Ward believes Dons are capable of coping with the pressure, and in fact that pressure is on others to beat them.

He added: "There are bigger problems in life than what's going on now so the pressure, I feel, is on other teams. We have a lot of quality, so we can play under this pressure. We're not in a false position - we're there because we've not been good enough for a long time, but there are signs that we can turn it around."