MK Dons manager Robbie Neilson was pleased to hand a run-out to fringe and younger players during their Checkatrade Trophy game with Stevenage.

Neilson spoke after Tuesday night’s match with the League Two side at stadium:mk, which saw the Dons win on penalties after the game finished 0-0 in normal time.

The Scot declared his delight to see his players, even if he felt the team could’ve got more in the 90 minutes.

He said, “I think it was a good run out for a few of the boys who haven’t played a lot of games recently, and some of the younger academy kids. In the first 20-30, we played really well but didn’t get the goals we should’ve done. Then it became pretty flat in the second half.

“All in all, its been a good crowd, good run-out, and its great for the kids, even for the ones who didn’t get on to get that first-team experience.”

Among the players given game time was Chuks Aneke, who started an MK Dons game for the first time this season. Neilson was impressed with his performance, and hoped to be able to prepare him for Saturday’s clash with Bradford City.

He said, “Its great for giving people game time. It was great to bring Chuks back, and he was phenomenal for the time he was on. It was also great for the young kids. Its another game we have to deal with, but its an opportunity for those who need to play.

“I was delighted. You can see he was the best player on the pitch in the first 45 minutes. We were only going for half an hour, but felt he could do the following 15. He did want to come out for the second half, but we didn’t think it was worth the risk. We’re pleased and he’s really happy as he’s got over the psychological barrier of playing that first game, and we can prepare him now for Saturday.”

There was also a full home debut given to youngster David Kasumu, and Neilson felt the player showed potential in his performance.

He said, “I thought David did great. He’s a young kid from the academy who can play right back, right midfield and centre midfield. He’s hungry and wants to do well, so he’s in with a chance.”

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