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Nick: We’ve proved we can compete in this league

Assistant Manager's update as Dons seek to bounce back on Tuesday

14 December 2020

Nick Daws today talked positively about maximising the strengths of our current squad at Sunderland on Tuesday night after a difficult afternoon at Charlton last time out.

Speaking ahead of the trip to the Stadium of Light, our Assistant Manager said: “It’s always about the bigger picture because we want to be excellent at what we do, so we can’t approach every game looking at the opposition. We’ve not done that all season. We know where our strengths lie, but we look at the opposition and how we can exploit their weaknesses. We are also respectful of their strengths as well. It’s a really simple game, it’s a football cliché, but it’s 11 versus 11 with a ball and two goals.

“If you get your game plan right and impose your game on the opposition, home or away, you can get results. We’ve proven this season that we can go away from home and get results, that we can compete in this league, and do better than that. We’ve had a little bump in the road over the last two games against two sides that were big threats, so for us it’s a case of getting back on the horse, dusting ourselves down, getting back on it, and proving what a good team we are.”

Nick added that plenty of hard work had been put in since Saturday to eradicate defensive errors.

“In the modern game we are coaches, psychologists, analysts, parents, and everything that goes with it,” said Nick. “We’ve worked hard since the game, over the course of Sunday with the players, and again today. We are talking about individual errors and a little bit of the rub of the green. The first goal, despite the fact we could have prevented it at source, is yet another deflection. There have been a number of deflections that have looped over Connal’s head. Take that first goal out of the game, we get our two goals, and it’s a different kettle of fish. In the second-half we had three or four excellent chances on the counter attack, which we didn’t take, and then we were a little bit open.

“It sounds silly to say we are not too disappointed to get beaten in the manner we did against Charlton – we are disappointed – but it was too late goals. We could have gone 3-1 up at the start of the second-half and then the game changes dramatically. We didn’t get the rub of the green, but we also understand where we could have been better, and we’ve dealt with that, and we will be better on Tuesday night, I’m sure.”

Nick reported no fresh injury concerns ahead of Sunderland. “Nothing has changed. The boys are fit, robust, and strong. They are ready to go again, and we’ve proved that since the Rochdale game. With the changes we’ve made, everyone has been fit and fresh.”

Luke O’Neill and Jaakko Oksanen are both making good progress in recuperating from ankle injuries, according to Nick. Click on the link below for Rob Cornell’s full interview.

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