MK Dons midfielder Jack Payne was delighted to contribute as his goal helped the team come from behind to beat Accrington Stanley.
Payne’s free-kick brought MK Dons level against Accrington before an injury time Joe Tomlinson goal won the game for the Dons, who are now within three points of League 2’s automatic promotion places.
Speaking to the media after the game, Payne said he was pleased to see his free-kick practice pay dividends with the equaliser and to contribute to the team picking up the win.
He said, “I was buzzing to see it back of the net and it came at an important time. We were a goal down but that got us back into the game, and then really grateful that Joe scored the winner to get us a massive three points today.
“I always feel confident when I step up. Obviously it’s not always going to go in. There’s been a couple where it’s either just missed or keeper’s made a good save, and Joe had one last game where the keeper made a good save. But I’m always confident when I step up and today’s one went right in the corner. It’s pleasing when you get to see it come off.”
Until Payne’s goal, the Dons had struggled to find an equaliser, and the Charlton loanee said that the team still showed persistent qualities in winning despite playing below their best.
He said, “It’s important to find different ways. It’s not all going to be plain sailing where you’re 2, 3, 4 goals up and you can see out the game, but usually when that happens, it’s because we’ve worn teams down and we’ve got a lot more energy. Today, probably not so much the case. I didn’t feel like we were at our best today, but when you’re not at your best, you’ve got to find a way and we’ve done that.”
Payne’s role in the team saw him start in a more advanced role, which he said he was happy to do to contribute for the team and he also praised the contribution of the substitutes in winning the game.
He said, “I’ll play anywhere for the team, wherever the gaffer wants. They make it very clear with the instructions they give us so it’s not too hard to change positions then after the subs were made, I went back to where I had been playing. The subs who came on, all were brilliant.”
Victory was added to recent wins over AFC Wimbledon and Gillingham teams who sit behind MK Dons in the table, and Payne said these results were proving effective in helping the team’s ambitions in climbing the League Two table.
He said, “As much as we’re looking ahead of us, we’ve also got to try and create a bit of a gap behind us, which we’ve started to do. There’s so many good teams and between now and the end of the season, there’ll be so many changes above and below us. We’ve just got to focus on ourselves, pick up as many points as possible and hope the teams around us drop points.”