Former Hearts boss Robbie Neilson plans to wield axe at MK Dons following debut defeat



Former Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson admits he is prepared to wield the axe at MK Dons in January after his dugout debut ended in a 4-1 defeat to Yeovil City.

Neilson’s reign at the League One side got off to a promising start in the Checkatrade Trophy tie after the Dons went in ahead at the break courtesy of Alex Lacey’s own goal.

But Yeovil hit back with four unanswered second half strikes, while the visitors also had Samir Caruthers sent off.

Neilson, who left Tynecastle last week to take over at stadium MK, admits the defeat told him a lot about his players.

He said: “I was expecting more from some of them, and I didn’t get it from some of them. They’re either coming with us or they’re not.

“It shows the process we’re in and the problems we have at the moment and why we are where we are. It showed that we don’t have the depth but we need.

“But we have to keep a positivity about the place. It was an opportunity, but some showed what they can do, and others showed that they can’t.

“You lose matches in football, that’s part and parcel, but you have to learn something. It’s now down to me to make sure we get the recruitment bang on.

“We know what level we’re at now. Tuesday was about analysis because come January, I have to make sure I get the right people.

“I don’t want people here who I think maybe can do it, and come February when the window shuts starting to think maybe they can’t.

“It has started, the process has started and we’re getting things organised and I’m excited.”

Neilson, meanwhile, admits MK Dons were not the only club to show an interest in him after enjoying a successful two-and-a-half years in Gorgie.

Despite claiming they made no approach, it is thought that Rotherham were keen to recruit the 36-year-old.

Neilson added: “There were other things that could have happened, even towards the end – even in the last few days there were things that came up.

“But as soon as I found out there was interest in MK Dons, and with the background they’ve got, it was the natural progression for me to come down to England.

“The key factor for me was moving to a club that was stable and would give you time. A lot of times when manager move in football, they move to the wrong environment and don’t get the chance to show what they can do and build.”