THREE defeats on the spin and 10 goals conceded isn’t the sort of form Karl Robinson would have been hoping for going into the festive period.
But that trio of disappointing performances - and a couple of League One games called off in between - means that’s exactly what the Dons boss is working with this Christmas.
They say that the best way to bounce back from a bad defeat is to get straight back out onto the pitch and right the wrongs - but there’s the problem.
Dons’ Boxing Day game away at Leyton Orient - if it actually does go ahead - will be just their second match in 33 days. And of course the irony of the situation is that Robinson was concerned his side were playing too many fixtures in a short space of time just a couple of months ago.
Nevertheless this is where his side find themselves going into what is traditionally considered the most important time of the season. In reality - because that trip to east London doesn’t look likely to go ahead and yet more games could well be postponed - Dons’ most important spell is set to be in January/ February as, like most others, they try to fulfil their fixtures.
The snow and frozen weather of the last couple of weeks is threatening to ruin the football season. Dons have seven games penned in for January and five in 24 days in February already - and there’s still a home game with Oldham to be re-arranged.
And the biggest problem for Robbo and his men is that they are playing catch-up, not when it comes to games, but in terms of points and places.
Dons’ mid-season slump has seen them drop to 14th place in League One, and although the good news it that they are only four points from the play-offs, the bad news is that every side between them and Colchester in sixth will be thinking they have just as good a chance.
It could take a minor miracle for Dons to reach the play-offs, with everything from the snow to an expected lack of transfer activity in the new year taken into account.
Games against Bournemouth and Bristol Rovers on December 28 and January 1 respectively at stadium:mk would provide the perfect opportunity for Dons to get back to winning ways and act as a springboard for some much needed form in the new year.
But with the amount of snow already on the city, it’s going to take a mammoth effort from the club and supporters to get those games played.
If those matches are played, then striker Jabo Ibehre could provide a big boost in the Dons attack in 2011. The 27-year-old says he is finally starting show his best form in a Dons shirt.
After spending most of 2010 out on loan at Stockport, he has begun to make an impression on Dons’ first-team, featuring 21 times this term. And although he has only found the net twice - in a Carling Cup first round tie against Dagenham & Redridge in August - he says fans should start to see the best of him.
He said: “I’ve come back in a much more positive frame of mind. Hopefully I’m improving as I’m playing and the more I play the more people will begin to see the real Jabo.”
Ibehre arrived at stadium:mk from Walsall in the summer of 2009 after scoring 10 times in 39 league games for the Saddlers.
But his Dons career started slowly and with just one goal in his opening 12 games last term, he was shipped out to Southend and then Stockport on loan.
But the current campaign has been promising for the powerful front man, even if he has been predominantly used from the substitutes’ bench.
“You want to hit the ground running and get your goals as well as the performances,” he said. “As I get fitter and play more games that will come.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better start, but it would be nice to go out there and do it more often.”
Dons are still recruiting fans to help with the snow clean-up operation. See the club’s official website for more details.