Mark Jackson thrilled with MK Dons resilience in win over Cambridge



Posted Sunday, March 12, 2023 by PA

Mark Jackson thrilled with MK Dons resilience in win over Cambridge

MK Dons boss Mark Jackson was thrilled with his side’s resilience as they sealed a vital 1-0 win over relegation rivals Cambridge.

Mo Eisa’s first-half free-kick was enough for the Dons to claim victory on Saturday afternoon, with the side now 22nd in League One – three points ahead of Cambridge in 23rd.

The side are still sitting precariously, but a strong display – particularly in the second half – thrilled Jackson as his side secured a much-needed boost.

He said: “I’m really delighted with the three points, delighted for the manner of the three points as well – it’s been a challenging week for the group and everyone at the club.

“We’re not a team that wants to settle for 1-0, we tried to push forward but they made it difficult, they’re a team that’s fighting as well. It would have been nice for another goal to go in and to calm us a little bit more, but even with that the boys stayed strong, kept pushing and created chances in the second half and withheld their pressure as well which was pleasing.

“Deep down the belief is always there, but when you go on a run of games and you don’t win games and performances are not great that anxiety kicks in, but we’ve got to push through that and we had a real strong focus this week and credit to the players they did the business on the pitch.”

Meanwhile, Cambridge boss Mark Bonner was left frustrated at refereeing decisions – including a disallowed goal for Jack Lankester, which was ruled out for an offside call on Sam Smith – though conceded his side were poor.

“I thought we were OK in the first half, I thought it was a poor game firstly, two teams really devoid of confidence,” he said.

“I thought we became worse as the game went on in the second half and matched the referee’s level, I thought he was hopeless, giving fouls, free-kicks and bookings to people for nothing. Sam Smith is in an offside position, but there is no way that he’s interfering with the goalkeeper’s line of sight or that move at all.

“He gives a foul which is the softest free-kick he’s going to give, the lad puts it in the top corner and in that two minutes the whole afternoon shifts.

“We’re disappointed with our level as the game went on and our inability to create any good chances, but the turning point is where we get a goal disallowed when it shouldn’t be – you can call that an excuse all you want, but goals change games.”

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