Dons are still in the market for a striker

Sam Gallagher against Reading. Pic Lee Scriven
Sam Gallagher against Reading. Pic Lee Scriven

Karl Robinson remains on the lookout for another striker after Dons’ 0-0 draw with Reading on Saturday.

In a game where neither side really warranted a goal, Dons’ front man Simon Church, who made his name at the Madejski Stadium, came closest when he struck the post in the first half as he still looks to open his account for his new club.

Sam Gallagher against Reading. Pic Lee Scriven

Sam Gallagher against Reading. Pic Lee Scriven

Likewise, Sam Gallagher made a few positive runs when he replaced Church in the second period, but couldn’t carve himself anything clear cut.

But while neither of his strikers have found the net in the opening five games of the season in all competitions, Robinson is confident Church and Gallagher in particular will come good.

“We’ve scored more than 50 per cent of the other teams in this league. I’d take that!” he said. “I’ve lost Benik Afobe, Will Grigg, Patrick Bamford, Sam Baldock over the years. Not many have had to deal with that over the years. But Sam Gallagher and Simon Church will get better.

“Sam’s got all the physical components, he’s got the mental capacity, the hunger and desire. Technically, he’ll improve with age. His size can hinder coordination, but there’ll be a period of time when it’ll catch up. When eh understands how to use his body, he’ll be a real handful.

“And Church is a willing runner and a hard worker.

“But we’re still looking to bring another one but it’s hard when you’re at MK Dons. It’s hard when we’ve not got the money others have.”

The stalemate with Reading, who are still looking for their first win of the new season, was battled out in a freak heatwave to have washed over the UK on Saturday, but didn’t detract from an attritional battle.

For Robinson, it was a worthy point to pick up.

He said: “We eliminated their chances, but Reading showed us a lot of respect. They played a system they’ve only ever played away. We didn’t expect that, and it’s hard to play against.

“We felt we could nick something towards the end, but it was a comfortable draw. We huffed and puffed, but not defensively.

“We just don’t have that just yet. I’m not happy with a point, but I am in the sense we didn’t deserve more. We need to do things better but that will come when we get used to the league. We’re all still learning at this level.

“Reading have some really talented players, and they’ve played some really difficult games so far. We’re the new boys in town and favourites to go down - we’ve done really well.

“Seven from 12 is a tremendous start. It’s brilliant. It’s what we’ve worked so hard for for five years, to be playing at this level.”

Dons’ midfield featured a new look, with Diego Poyet making his debut alongside lynchpin Darren Potter, who has taken to the Championship with aplomb.

“I thought Potter’s marshalling of Diego was marvellous,” Robinson added. “He’s gone from Dele to Diego, who is another talented youngster. If that’s him making his debut, and I’ll give him a seven out of 10, hopefully there’s only one way he’ll go.”

But the plaudits after the game will go to Dons keeper David Martin, who made some fine stops in the draw to guide Dons to another point on the road.

Robinson said: “In some ways, that’s what I pay him for! I say the same at the other end, strikers are paid to score.

“But Dave gives us more than shot stopping. His calmness, his distribution. For five and a bit years he has been indispensable for me.

“I don’t give my players much credit, I just keep playing them! That’s when they know they deserve it!

“Today, he marshalled the back line, and the boys in front of him did a wonderful job.”