If MK Dons find themselves in League 1 next season, they’ll only have themselves, and performances like Saturday’s 2-0 loss to Bristol City, to blame.
On too many occasions since making their Championship bow, Dons have been the victims of their costly mistakes, with individual errors gifting the opposition goals.
Huddersfield Town were allowed to score twice in a game fitting for a bore-draw, Leeds were allowed back into the game with an own goal, and now on two occasions, Bristol City were given free reign of Dons’ penalty area to pick up four vital points against fellow relegation strugglers.
Perhaps more disappointing than the freebie City were given deep into first half stoppage time at stadium:mk though was the nature of Dons’ fightback - it was nonexistent.
It is with an alarming rate of frequency that, rather than one player having an off day, the entire team has off days. With no spark against Bristol City, Dons failed to even register an attempt on target. Their scant few attempts off target were hardly anything to write home about either.
Robinson admitted his front quartet - Nicky Maynard, Josh Murphy, Rob Hall and Jay Emmanuel-Thomas - had their worst games in Dons colours. That wasn’t for lack of ball either. Dons probably shaded possession in the first half, they simply didn’t do anything with it.
But they weren’t alone in that. City were equally poor. Last season’s fixture at stadium:mk pitched the two best sides in the division against one another, with many leaving the goal-less draw afterwards feeling that it was a match worthy of the Championship. This time around, it was a poorly made sequel. Jonathan Kodjia’s two goals were the only shots on target.
The dismal result also undoes so much of what was good about Dons’ previous fixtures. Five points against the likes of Cardiff, Middlesbrough and Derby was a haul to be proud of. Five against those three and Bristol City now looks a bit paultry.
Fortunately, results around them worked in Dons’ favour. The gap to the relegation zone remains at five points, but staying up by virtue of others being worse won’t be the way Dons want to do it. And with 14 games to go, there is still plenty of time to save themselves on their own merit.
But the increasingly frequent sub-par showings should be a great concern, especially when gifting points to those around them.