Neilson hopes to carry end of season momentum into the summer

Dons boss Robbie Neilson hopes his side's strong finish to the campaign can give them momentum going into the summer break,

Sunday, 30th April 2017, 2:48 pm
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 8:19 pm
Robbie's Reaction

They secured a top half finish on Sunday with a comfortable 4-1 win away at Walsall, finishing above the likes of AFC Wimbledon and Charlton, having sat in the relegation zone in November.

But with a big rebuilding process facing the manager this summer, Neilson hopes their momentum can carry on.

"It has been a difficult season for everyone," said Neilson at the Banks's Stadium, "This is a team that got relegated, and though I've only been here a few months, I hope we've brought back some positivity to the club.

"With a good close season and good pre-season, this time next year, hopefully we'll be going up."

With a top half finish the prize for the winner, first half strikes from Robbie Muirhead and Ben Reeves put Dons in control in the first half against a Walsall side who looked like they were already on their summer holidays. Ben Tilney and Stuart O'Keefe will argue over who lays claim to Dons' third before Harvey Barnes wrapped it up, just a minute after Erhun Oztumer netted a consolation for Walsall with five minutes to go.

For Neilson, it was a great team performance.

He said: "I'm delighted to end on a high and finish in the top half, which is great for us given the position we were in. It was a positive performance, and I hope we can carry that positivity into the new season.

"We scored our three goals and sat off a little bit, and the game died a death really. They scored and to our credit, we kicked on and got another goal. Today was a real team performance."

With five of the starting 11 potentially playing their final games in Dons shirts, Neilson admitted the futures of Dean Lewington and Ben Reeves lay in their court, with contracts on the table for them, waiting to be signed.

He added: "If we can get Ben Reeves on the ball 20, 30 yards from goal, we know what we're going to get. He's one of the top players in the league in that respect. I've spoken to him about a contract and he's having a think about it.

"Lewington has had a conversation with the chairman this week, I spoke to him last week and he's taking a few days to think and we'll see where it takes us."