It’s a dreadful run, admits Robbo

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Karl Robinson said his side desperately need to address the ‘dreadful run’ they are on at the moment.

Saturday’s 3-1 home defeat to Coventry City is their eighth in the last 10 League 1 matches, and leaves them 12th in the division.

Shaun Williams fired Dons deservedly ahead on the stroke of half time with another spot kick, but a deflected Chris Dagnall strike in the second period gifted Coventry a life-line, before two wonderful free kicks from Chris Maguire with four minutes and then two minutes remaining gave City all three points at stadium:mk.

“It’s difficult at the moment,” said Robinson afterwards. “We don’t want to come out and speak about the run we’re on - it’s a dreadful run. We have to make sure we get out of it.

“I’m gutted. I don’t think anyone who watched the game would think we were poor, but it’s still not good enough. We dominated the first half, got a goal, but probably should have been two or three clear at that stage.

“In the second half, they were kicking in to 7,000 fans. There was going to be momentum, but we denied them opportunities.

“And then a wicked deflection - what have we done to deserve that? And then two of the best free kicks you’ll see here.”

It’s the third game in succession Dons have conceded three goals, and is their third defeat in seven days after loses to Bradford and Colchester preceded the Coventry result.

And the manager believes this is the toughest test of his managerial career so far, but believes he need to breathe confidence into his players.

He said: “We aren’t happy because we’ve been beaten again. But this the most difficult time as we’ve had since I’ve been at the club.

“I’ve got to be fair and honest, I’m not going to say everything is rosy in the garden.

“I’ve got ideas on how to change things, but the problem we have is when we concede, we look very fragile and we concede a second quickly. It knocks the stuffing out of us a bit.

“But we have some big players coming back into the back five in the next few weeks. I’m sure they’ll breathe confidence into the defence. If we keep playing like we did at the top end, we’ll win matches. Nine times out of ten, we’ll win.

“Right now, we’re just not having the luck. Our deflections go wide, their loop up and over Ian McLoughlin.”

One shining light for the Dons supporters though was the introduction of Dale Jennings. After signing on loan from Barnsley on Thursday night, Jennings put in a brave performance, and Robinson believes with a bit more fitness, he’ll prove to be a match winner.

“Dale Jennings was knackered!” said Robinson, after Jennings’ debut. “I’ve known him since he was 11 and was someone I’ve always had a keen eye on.

“We’ve got a class left sided player. If we can get him fit, he’ll have people on the edge of their seats.”

The slump also means Dons are now closer to the relegation battle than the play-off spots - nine from sixth and just five from 21st.

But Robinson isn’t going to be looking over his shoulder any time soon, but said he has no designs on getting his side out of League 1 this season.

He said: “At the beginning of the season, I don’t think anybody had any expectations or desires on getting out of this league. We knew it’d be a difficult year.

“It’s a difficult time at the moment.”