THE League 1 table doesn’t lie – Dons deserve to be in eighth place, according to boss Karl Robinson.
Last Saturday saw Dons finally return to winning ways after five games without a victory, and even more concerning, three without a goal.
But a dominant 3-0 triumph against relegation fodder Scunthorpe United got them back on the right path again ahead of Friday night’s FA Cup first round tie at Cambridge City.
Getting the vital three points at Glanford Park lifted Dons back up to eighth place in the League 1 table, having started the day 10th, and has given the players a much needed psychological shot in the arm.
Robinson said: “It has helped us, like any victory would help, but the boys have showed up this week and they way they’ve performed in training is no different to any other week.
“It obviously had a psychological affect on them, particularly at the top end of the pitch, scoring three goals and we could have scored many more.
“It was good for us, and nice that we could put a performance on, and score the goals our performance deserved for once.
“The league table says we needed it, but we still feel we’re as strong as ever.”
Robinson said the week building up to the Scunthorpe game, which featured back-to-back defeats to Stevenage and Crawley, was the lowest time he’d faced at the club for nearly two years.
Then, Dons had only collected three points away from home and were languishing in mid-table going into the new year – with players wanting away from stadium:mk.
Robinson also accepted that recent criticism was justified as his side were failing to meet their own high standards, and that eighth place is about right for Dons at the moment.
“We’ve come under criticism but that’s because we’ve set our own bar so high,” he said. “The realism is that we are right where we should be.
“But we’ve set our own high standards – so our under achievement is highlighted.
“It’s nice to get a win, it has put us in a good position and we’ve got some good games coming up, which we’re looking forward to.”
Despite those two defeats and three consecutive draws before that, Dons haven’t lost too much ground on early pace-setters Tranmere Rovers, who themselves have hit a sticky patch in form, allowing some of the chasing pack to haul in their initial advantage.
Robinson said: “It’s funny how football works – going into this bad run we were only about eight or nine points behind Tranmere. And I think we’re only eight or nine behind them still! It’s not like we’ve lost drastic ground.
“Everybody can beat everybody. We’ve just got to keep our focus. We’ve had an awful lot of people out and they’re slowly getting fit again, so we’re going in the right direction.”