Boss Westley sees positives from MK Dons defeat
- Credit: Kevin Coleman
Boro boss Graham Westley says his side paid for their inexperience after they went down 4-1 away at MK Dons on Saturday.
The defeat was Boro’s third in a row, and Westley is keen for his players to learn from their experiences.
“I think we were masters of our own downfall,” said the manager.
“You can see youth, you can see inexperience and when youth and inexperience makes mistakes, sometimes that’s part of the learning process and we’ve made three catastrophic mistakes, but understandable mistakes as well and we’re 3-0 down.
“We’ve got a lot of youngsters learning the level, learning each other, learning me and when you’re going through a learning phase and you play lads who have played at the top of the game – the likes of [MK Dons ex-Manchester United player Luke] Chadwick, a class act – who are used to playing at the top end of the league it isn’t easy and they do punish you ruthlessly.”
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Despite the result, Westley was keen to take the positives out of the game and praised the effort put in by his players.
“The character [was good] when it was tested, we’ve dug in, we’ve battled away at our jobs and we’ve managed to get the goal that I asked them for at 3-0 down.
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“I said ‘give me a clean sheet until half-time, give me a goal before half-time, give us something to work with’ and they did that.
“I didn’t go in their today feeling like I did last week.
“Last weekend I didn’t feel like we showed enough character, I didn’t think we showed any leadership or team spirit or any real desire to go and win the football match where as today, albeit we made some mistakes, I don’t think anybody could say that our lads didn’t play with an intention to go and win the football match and to score goals.
“I think you could see that we were going forward, you could see we wanted the next goal, you could see we were prepared to believe in our game and that pleased me because if we play with that intention then ultimately we’ll end up winning football matches.”
The main talking point of the game came when the home side were awarded a penalty after Boro full back Sam Wedgebury was adjudged to have fouled Dele Alli, shortly before Luke Freeman went down under a similar challenge only for referee Andy Woolmer to dismiss his claims for a spot kick.
“I feel really, really harshly treated with the penalty, I did see the shirt pull outside the box, if it went on into the box then the foul still happened outside the box.
“Then at the other end, immediately afterwards, Luke Freeman I’m sure was fouled and I’m sure we deserved something there.
“The decisions are one part of us losing, the mistakes are the biggest part of us losing, but you know what the decisions really don’t help.”