Pre-season results 'don't really matter' to Dons boss Neilson

Robbie Neilson admitted he isn't really interested in pre-season results after his side lost their third friendly game in a row on Friday night.

Saturday, 22nd July 2017, 11:30 am
Updated Tuesday, 12th September 2017, 11:59 am
Robbie Neilson watches on against Coventry

Two Marc McNulty penalties saw Dons beaten 2-0 by Coventry City, having lost their two tour games in Hungary previously.

While Dons' performance resembled one of a tired and worn-out squad, Neilson admitted he is only concentrating on one game - the season opener against Wigan on August 5.

He said: "Pre-season is pre-season - it's about getting to that first game of the season. You want ot get through these games and maybe carry some form in, but ultimately it doesn't really matter.

"We have to be patient. There are a lot of new boys in there who are learning how we want to do things and how the other guys play too.

"Ultimately, the first league game is the most important so it's important we get there in the right condition. We've been doing double sessions, and we trained before the game too so we're not going to be at the top level at the moment.

"But we're coming off it now, hopefully we'll look a bit fresher before the Brentford and Leicester games."

The defeat to Coventry at Liberty Way, the home of Nuneaton Town, saw Dons come off second best against a lively Sky Blues side, and Neilson said there were positives as well as negatives to take from his side's performance.

As well as introducing new signings Gboly Ariyibi and Ryan Seager to the fans, Dean Lewington played 84 minutes in his first pre-season match of the summer.

"It was good to get him back," said Neilson of his skipper. "He has struggled with an injury and he probably could have lasted the 90 but we wanted to give Callum some time as well. We're slowly getting there.

"Ryan just came in and it's his first start of pre-season and hasn't been training a lot - he got cramp after 50 minutes so his levels need to improve. Gboly had only played 30 minutes too, so we need to give them a bit of time.

"We played some good stuff and some bad stuff - we're still in the process of trying to get fully fit and get ready for the start of the season. As with any pre-season game, we're trying to impliment what we're trying to do. There were bits we need to get better at.

"We passed it pretty well at times, we were positive when we went through Ariyibi and Peter Pawlett, we got it into the strikers a bit better but I felt we could have dealt with it up there.

The first part of the second half we did well but we needed to be a bit more aggressive, we looked a bit tentative I think."