AFTER a record breaking crowd turned out to see Dons cruelly robbed of a place in the fourth round of the FA Cup, manager Karl Robinson and chairman Pete Winkelman have urged the city’s football fans to get through the turnstiles and cheer the club on more often.
More than 19,500 fans packed stadium:mk for Saturday’s visit of Premier League side Queens Park Rangers – 9,000 more than the club’s highest attendance of the season so far when 10,554 watched the 0-0 draw with Scunthorpe in November. Dons’ previous attendance record was 17,717 for the visit of Leicester City in 2009.
Robinson was delighted to see the stadium full to capacity, but wants to see it more often.
“For us to get to where we want to, that needs to happen all the time,” said the Dons boss. “I know a lot of hardcore fans will be disappointed with the crowd because they’ll want to know where they are every week.
“I know QPR bought a lot with them, but we had three quarters of that stadium. It was nice to walk out there to see faces and not empty seats.
“Other than Colchester in the first half, we’ve not had a bad game here. We don’t play any different to that. They are the performance levels you’re going to see here, and if you don’t like that then there’s not much more we can do to please you.
“We average a very good crowd. We’re very proud of that, and we just need to keep moving forward and bring new fans in.”
After seeing Dons potentially paired with Chelsea in the fourth round of the FA Cup, Winkelman echoed his manager’s thoughts and hopes new fans will show their faces at stadium:mk again.
“Our support throughout the season has been fantastic and it has been steadily growing,” he said. “We recently saw a spike in half-season tickets purchased with supporters recognising the potential thrills and drama to come.
“But by far the highlight of the season so far was the new record attendance of 19,500 for an MK Dons game at stadium:mk. It’s a very special venue and the place was rocking throughout.
“That atmosphere week in, week out, would certainly help the partisan vibe and would help inspire the players.
“Anyone at the game would have seen the brand of football at MK Dons is a very rare one – there are few other teams that play the type of attractive and expansive game that Karl and John (Gorman) help to deliver every week.
“I hope those who attended the QPR game come back with the knowledge that the performance they saw from the players was not a one-off, but it was assisted by the knowledge that the people of Milton Keynes were all right behind them.”