PERHAPS a bit of time apart will help MK Dons after they slumped to their third consecutive 1-0 defeat away from home, this time against Walsall on Saturday.
After an intensive opening month to the season, Dons have won twice, lost twice and drawn once in League 1 to sit 10th.
Most concerning for manager Karl Robinson will be his side’s seeming inability to hit the back of the net despite creating countless chances with relative ease. Meanwhile Dons’ opponents seem to take their chances as and when they come along, and prepare to weather the storm.
Some last ditch defending prevented Dons from taking an early lead through Dean Bowditch as he rounded keeper David Grof, but Ben Purkiss got back in time to clear the ball off the line.
Robinson felt their was a foul in the build-up to Walsall’s opener on 17 minutes, but it stood regardless as Dean Holden slid in at the far post to meet Jamie Paterson’s corner.
Luke Chadwick had a shot from range saved just before the break, but a rush of blood from David Martin nearly saw Dons two goals down, as he raced out of his area to chase the ball down. But he was beaten to it, though Paterson couldn’t keep his shot down as it sailed over the unguarded net.
In a carbon copy of last Tuesday’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy defeat to Northampton, the second half was a one-sided affair, with Dons on the front foot throughout, but unable to break through the stubborn defence.
The best chances fell to Darren Potter, who headed Shaun Williams’ cross just wide, and Alan Smith who forced the best out of Grof in the last minute.
Once again, Dons come away from a game without a goal and on the receiving end of a 1-0 defeat, which could quite easily have been a heavy victory in the other direction.
And Robinson believes that a few days apart might help the players come back with renewed hunger to kick-start their stuttering season.
“It’s not for the lack of effort, or for lack of trying. David Martin hasn’t made a save today. But credit to Walsall – their last ditch defending was remarkable and you have to applaud them for that,” he said.
“They’ve got to respond. They need to. It’s not acceptable. We want to disconnect from each other for a few days, which is probably a good thing. “We made so many chances and if we keep making these chances and not take them, we’re not going to win games, it’s as simple as that.
“But our fans have come out twice, and not seen us come away with a victory.
“We’ve not had a good run of finishing opportunities, and the players have put a lot of pressure on themselves to go out and win the next two.
“There have been some strange results so far, but I said at the beginning of the season that this would be the most unique this league has been. So many teams can beat each other.
“We have a lot of work to do but we’re not too far away.”
Dons have a Tuesday night without a game this week, but then face four games in quick succession, starting on Saturday against high-flying Yeovil Town at stadium:mk.