Wilson backing McLeod
By Tom Latchem
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Manager Danny Wilson is backing Izale McLeod to have a big impact.
Manager Danny Wilson saw his MK Dons side lose 3-0 to Spanish giants Atletico Madrid and declared: 'Some of my lads wouldn't look out of place in their team'.
Despite crafting a number of scoring chances, the Dons were outclassed at the weekend by a Madrid side nearing the end of their pre-season English tour.
Wilson claimed his League One side competed well against superior opposition and cheekily claimed Madrid might return to steal a few players.
"The game was a great experience from our point of view - we aspire to play like that," the former Bristol City boss told skysports.com.
"We had chances to score against a great team, and that bodes well for this season. I wasn't worried about the scoreline, just what we got out of the game.
"We worked hard, competed well against a quality side and created chances. Pres-season isn't about results but what we can take out of a game and we did a lot of leg-work today.
"Everyone has come out of the game well against top opposition. Matt Baker did well in goal and made several good saves.
"Izale McLeod did not look out of place today - Madrid will look at him and wonder who he is.
"But you have to look at the other side: we stuck in well and created chances like good, strong sides always do."
Wilson has obvious admiration for fans' favourite McLeod - a man whose goals could propel The Dons into the play-offs - adding: "McLeod will score goals, there's no doubt about that.
"He has started pre-season well and looks a real handful. If he can continue he will do very well this year.
"Izale does things that nobody else can do and, over the course of a season, will do more percentage-wise than anyone in the team."
Although confident about his team's ability, Wilson refused to be drawn on the club's promotion chances.
Having been cut apart by Atletico Madrid's slick passing, he insisted it was the 'goals against' column that would decide the final league position.
"I think we will stay up - that's all I'm giving you," he continued. "If we can keep clean sheets throughout the season we will do well, and I've always said that.
"We have the players who can score goals and so clean sheets will win us games. At the end of last season, we tightened up at the back and that kept us up.
"We've been looking forward to the first game of the season for ages and I think the euphoria from staying up on the last day of last season is still around the place.
"What we have to do is keep that atmosphere from the fans. But we cannot rest on that and we have to move on."