Too many poor starts are causing MK Dons problems

Doncaster Rovers 2-1 MK Dons

Saturday, 2nd October 2021, 9:08 pm

Harry Darling said MK Dons have made poor starts all season long, and if they continue to do so, they will leave themselves open to more difficult days

Poor starts have been MK Dons’ Achilles’ Heel all season long, according to Harry Darling.

Liam Manning’s side could have been 3-0 down to bottom club Doncaster Rovers after just 15 minutes when Ben Close hit the post prior to Tommy Rowe’s opener on six minutes, before Rodrigo Vilca then hit the other post.

Though Peter Kioso equalised on 24 minutes for the visitors, a Tiago Cukur goal 12 minutes from time handed Dons only their second defeat in League One of the season - ending their nine game unbeaten run - and Doncaster’s second victory of the campaign.

Dons, when they have conceded, have done so inside the opening 20 minutes in six of their 11 League One matches this season, and defender Darling said until they solve that problem, they will leave themselves with mountains to climb.

“We did it on Tuesday too, and it has happened all season too, if I'm being honest. I don't think we start games quick enough. We'll get punished for it like we have today. It's always an uphill climb. We need to cut it out and start games a lot better.

“It comes from us, the players in the starting 11. As soon as the whistle goes, we have to be on it or we'll be punished at this level.

“We conceded two sloppy goals away from home. We need to be tighter at the back. If you concede two goals, especially away from home, you're going to be struggling.

“We'll learn from it, we've had a good run but we'll move on.

“We've got a bit of a break from the league now so we'll go away, have a rest and be raring to go again.”