MK Dons manager Dan Micciche felt his team deserved more from their loss to Portsmouth, and called on his side to recover quickly in Tuesday’s trip to Oldham.
In a lively encounter at stadium:mk, Micciche’s team took the lead through Ike Ugbo. But the Dons couldn’t take chances to grab a second, before goals in the final minutes from Matt Clarke and Conor Chaplin saw the visitors take the points.
Speaking to the media after the game, Micciche praised the efforts of his players but was left frustrated by issues at both ends of the pitch.
He said, “Its credit to the players for the way they played, but we are where we are because of what happens in the final third and defending third.
“Scoring goals is the hardest thing to do in football, which is why we pay forward players so much money, and its hard even for Premier League players to break teams down. We created some good chances, but their keeper has pulled off good saves, and you have to credit Portsmouth as a whole as they fought for their manager to the end.”
The MK Dons manager also spoke of his frustration at the goals conceded, and looked for the team to quickly fix the issues.
“I think they’re two disappointing and avoidable goals. We’ve conceded four goals in these few weeks and its not as if they’re worldies into the top corner – they’re all avoidable ones. We’ve got to fix that quickly and take our chances.”
Micciche felt that his side deserved something, but looked to move on to Tuesday’s big six pointer against fellow strugglers Oldham Athletic.
He said, “It is tough to take but as manager, I’ve got to move on. I’ve got to lift the players and staff, and its gone, and we have to think about Oldham.
“I think we deserved at least a point, and three of their players said we were robbed. Luke McGee has come back to haunt me, given I signed him as a 10 year old for Spurs.”
For the game, the Dons shifted to a formation with 3 central defenders, and Micciche felt the team did well to make it work after limited time to prepare.
He said, “These are things you work on in pre-season but obviously we’re doing it in February. All credit to the players as we haven’t had a long time to work on it, and there’s only so much you can do on the grass, particularly with 5 games coming up in 14 days and we had seven players missing as well.
“But I think the players took on board the movement patterns and it suited our personnel. All credit to the players for that as I thought for at least an hour, we looked like an MK Dons team we all went.”
Moving forward, Micciche said the side knew they now needed to pick up the points, and would be making the trip north looking to pick up the victory.
He said, “I’ve felt that the last 2 games haven’t been a free pass and have hurt. When you lose with 20 seconds to go, its a bitter pill to take. But I think that we know we’ve got to pick up points, we’re doing the best we can, and we’re all in this together.
“We have 18 cup finals and every game’s difficult. It doesn’t matter where the teams are as every game is difficult, but we’ll go there well prepared, well recovered and looking to collect 3 points.”