A PASSIONATE Karl Robinson has vowed that Dons will not give up on winning promotion to the Championship this season.
Despite picking up just four League 1 points from a possible 18 – a slump which has seen Dons slide from the play-off places to 11th – the manager is adamant that no-one associated with the club is willing to give up on this season’s number one priority.
He said: “The players have had a telling off. They’re not here to toss this season away. There’s too many strong characters out there.
“If we go up this year, it’ll be one of the biggest upsets in the country.
“It’ll upset the FA, it’ll upset the referees, it’ll upset all the fans. So why not have a go? It will be hard, but I knew it’ll be hard.
“I said at the beginning of the season that it’ll be like the Grand National – we’ve hit a fence and stumbled over the next two.
“We’ve got a longer straight this week and it gives us the chance to get back on the horse and reflect on where we’ve been.”
And his players feel the same, said Robinson.
He added: “You might get a few tackles heading your way. If you told any of the players that this season was over, they’d cut the interview short very quickly. It’s never in their minds.
“When it’s impossible, we will accept it gracefully, we’ll reflect on it and move on to next season.
“But it’s harder this year. We have never had the injuries and suspensions quite like this, it’s like everyone wants to pick on us. But it only makes us stronger.”
However, Robinson said that – regardless of whether or not they do realise their Championship dreams – this season will still go down in history among the MK Dons faithful for the FA Cup run which has already surpassed all expectations.
But with three months and 18 games to go, Robinson believes that the league season isn’t over until it’s over and that everybody is focussed on the task at hand.
He said: “This year will always be known as the AFC Wimbledon year, and the 4-2 at QPR – going 4-0 up. I still think there are more chapters to be written this season.
“Going into the QPR game, we raised everyone’s expectations. I had a meeting with every member of footballing personnel we have, and told them what it means to be part of this club and what it takes to be successful.
“We’re playing for a club that’s breaking records all the time, is different, new, fresh and we all want to be here. I’m not happy with the results, but I’ll put it right.”
Dons face four League 1 away games on the bounce, starting on Saturday with a trip to Oldham Athletic, and Doncaster Rovers next Tuesday.