MK Dons midfielder Jordan Houghton voiced his disappointment that his side couldn’t match their first half in a loss to Sunderland.
The midfielder spoke after a second half Lynden Gooch goal saw Sunderland win 1-0 at stadium mk. Speaking after the game, the Dons man admitted his frustration the team couldn’t get more from their efforts.
He said, “Its obviously disappointing to come away with nothing, especially after the first half performance. We ended up getting some control and going into half-time, we were pleased. They’re a top side and a big club, and they’re going for promotion, and I thought we did really well in the first half. But we didn’t step on in the second, or kick-on, and they get a great goal.”
Houghton said that after a slower start, he felt the team were able to manage and control proceedings in the first half.
He said, “We knew the first 10-15 minutes would be tough and we had to ride it out, but I thought we did that and came into the game and did what we want to do. In most games we want to get the ball round and out from the back, and we did that well, and created some half-chances. On another day, they might’ve gone in.”
In contrast, Houghton felt that Sunderland came out in a more aggressive manner following the break, aided by the Dons failing to continue their first half intensity.
He said, “I think they were just a little more aggressive in their press. But as much as it was them, it was also us – we weren’t as brave, we didn’t hold the ball up as well, and I think it was a combination of both. Its frustrating but we’ll look at it and make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
Houghton said that he felt the team did well to match a Sunderland team chasing for promotion to the Championship, and that there was enough to learn from the game.
He said, “We played well today. Sunderland are going for promotion and it shows how far we’ve come since Russ came in that we’re matching, if not at times doing better than, a promotion team. Its frustrating but we have to pick ourselves up. We’ve got ten days until the next game to get this training in.”
Sunderland was the first of three successive home games for the Dons, with Rochdale and Wycombe due to make visits to Milton Keynes. Houghton said the team would need to continue to make stadium mk a difficult place for away sides to pick up points from these games.
He said, “Before the game, we were looking at Sunderland and how they would come here knowing how we were going to play and try to dominate the play, especially at home. We want to make this a fortress if we can, and we’ve done that in a lot of games since Russ has been here. With those games coming up, we need to pick up points and make it difficult for teams to come here, like we showed in the first half.”