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INTERVIEW: This will be a different MK Dons side says Coley

Reds boss praises defence after two clean sheets

8 February 2024

Interviews

INTERVIEW: This will be a different MK Dons side says Coley

Reds boss praises defence after two clean sheets

8 February 2024

John Coleman knows he will encounter a different MK Dons side to the one Accrington Stanley beat 1-0 in October.

That Shaun Whalley goal at the Wham Stadium sent Stanley into the Play-Offs in what was Mike Williamson's first game in charge of The Dons.

However since then, Williamson's side have gone on a run of 10 league wins in their last 15 games which has pushed them into sixth place in League Two.

Coleman said: "He did really well at Gateshead and deserved his crack at this league, it wasn't going to change overnight against us, his first game in charge.

"He will be better prepared to play against us this time and we will have to be better prepared to play against him and his team.

"For us, every game is a benchmark now. With every game between now and the end of season, the pressure ramps up and if you want that pressure, then you have got to win games.

"We want to be fighting for every point when April comes around and make sure we are in the thick of it than outside looking in."

With two successive clean sheets, Coleman is delighted with his defence, especially because they are so young.

"Over the last two games, we have got tight and made it uncomfortable for the opposition although this has been possibly at the expense of us going forward which is always a worry for me as we do try to play high tempo football and make chances.

"It's getting the balance right.

"With the back four, the level has gone up. It helps that they have the added pressure of Jay Rich-Baghuelou breathing down their necks now as well as Aaron Pickles.

"If you have that it's got to make them play better. We need strength and competition all over the field.

"I think we are defending better because there is pressure and they are getting to know each other. The more they play with each other, the better understanding they get of what they can do but there are areas we need to improve on."

Frontman Jake Bickerstaff has now had a week training with his new teammates after joining on loan from Wrexham last Friday.

"Jake is clever, he makes good runs. He felt the Grimsby game passed him by but he only trained once with us and had to start a game.

"You have to play with Jack Nolan for a bit to realise what he is going to do and the more he plays, the more in tune with him he will be and more everyone will benefit."

Sean McConville, Shaun Whalley and Korede Adedoyin are all described as 'a few weeks away'.


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