MK Dons boss Robbie Neilson felt his side paid for not taking their chances during a defeat to Scunthorpe.
A first half goal from Ivan Toney was enough for an Iron side in the top 6 to take the points from stadium:mk. The home side had plenty of the ball during the game, but could not find a way through a tightly packed visiting defence.
Speaking after the game, Neilson commented that his side had more of the play and was pleased by that, but was equally disappointed by a failure to take advantage of chances that came.
He said, “I thought we passed the ball a lot just for the sake of passing, which was disappointing. In the first half, we dominated the game and had a lot of opportunities to go forward but were a bit too negative. We were better in the second but were against a team who got a goal from a set-piece then shut up shop and made it difficult.
“Its up to us to improve on it. The pleasing thing is that we were playing a side who have been at the top for most of the season and dominated, but we couldn’t get the final finish.”
The previous week, the Dons failed to take advantage of their chances at Swindon as they drew. Neilson commented that he was pleased chances were being created against a top six team, and said it demonstrated a sign of progress made at the club.
He said, “I just think we didn’t take opportunities when they come. After the game at Swindon, I said the most difficult thing is when you don’t create chances, and today we created a few, if not as many as at Swindon, but didn’t take them.
“Credit to them – they play the way they play and its bought them success this year. But for us, to play against a team that’s been up near the top all season and will probably be in the play-offs, to dominate them shows the direction we’re going in.”
The teamsheet featured starts for academy graduates Giorgio Rasulo and Callum Brittain, while Brandon Thomas-Asante appeared as a substitute. Neilson has pushed for a reserve team at the club, but also added he felt the trio provided a good sense during the game.
He said, “Its important to give opportunities at this level – we don’t have under-23 or 21 teams here, so a lot of the younger players haven’t been playing regularly, and it makes it difficult for them to step into the first team. That’ll be bought up for next season, but for now, its important we give them a chance and I’m quite happy to do that. The 3 involved today did themselves credit.”
The former Hearts boss was asked on the future of long-standing MK Dons players like Dean Bowditch and Daniel Powell, who have been out of the team of late, but commented decisions on their futures have already been made.
He said, “I think its important we give the young players opportunity. We know what Bowditch and Powell can do, but we need to give the likes of Asante, Rasulo or Brittain the opportunity to show what they can do. The older players have been great servants, but we move on as a club. Decisions have been made privately and we will move on.”