NEILSON’S HALF-TIME HELLO OK BY RICHIE
New boss does the talking...
IT WAS a passing of the torch in a bizarre way for MK Dons as outgoing caretaker boss Richie Barker gave up half-time team talk duties to new man Robbie Neilson.
It did not prove enough to see off a Charlton side led for the first time by former Dons manager Karl Robinson, and the stalemate means both clubs will do it all again in a replay. Football really is a strange game.
Barker picked the side and took the pre-match briefing in the away dressing room at The Valley to good effect.
MK Dons bossed the first 45 minutes but at half-time the caretaker gave Neilson the chance to offer his thoughts and stepped aside. “It’s his gig now,” said Barker. “He took the half-time team talk. I didn’t even go in the dressing room at half-time.
“If you have too many voices it causes an issue so I said to him, ‘do you want to do it?’. He wanted to do it, which is fine, it’s his football club now.”
On the game Barker thought MK Dons should have won it, adding: “We were by far the better team in the first half. We had arguably the best chance in the last minute.
“I don’t think there’s any doubt we were the best team.”
For Robinson, the experience was an odd one which was almost inevitable given the circumstances.
“It was weird. I was seeing things and I was like ‘I told you’,” he said. “When Darren Potter, Ed Upson, Reevesy, Samir and Bowditch get them movements right and the bravery in the back four to play the way they do it’s hard.
“I tried something first half and I knew second half how we could do something to tweak things.
“We have to win games in a different way sometimes and I thought the mentality in the second got to grip with their rotation was excellent.
“We were the better team by a long way in the second half. They were miles better than us first half.
“If they would have scored second half that would have been unfair on my players.”
In the first half Robinson’s new side showed little of the quality of football Dons were capable of on
BATTLE: Charlton midfielder Jordan Botaka battles for possesion with MK Dons’ Ed Upson