Oldham strike wasn’t my best – Doumbe

STUNNER: Mathias Doumbe's strike finds the back of the net on Saturday.
STUNNER: Mathias Doumbe's strike finds the back of the net on Saturday.

IT was certainly one of the goals of the season at stadium:mk last Saturday, but Mathias Doumbe thinks he has scored better than his strike against Oldham.

The Frenchman’s third goal of the season was the pick of the bunch in Dons’ 5-0 win against the Latics, but he believes that he has scored even more memorable strikes in his career.

“I have scored better, but as a professional, it’s one of the best ones,” said the 32-year-old.

“We had a short corner, and I watched everyone go to one side of the box, so I drifted to the back and no-one followed me. I threw my hands in the air, waving for attention, and Tav (James Tavernier) spotted me.

“He picked me out really well, I took my first touch and I saw the goalkeeper at the near post, so I just hit it. When it left my foot, I said... wow, it’s in!”

After spells in and out of the side this season, Doumbe has regained his place in recent weeks as cover for the suspended Gary MacKenzie, who was ironically recalled to replace the suspended Doumbe after he was sent off at Stevenage in January.

But while there is fierce competition on the field between the four centre backs at the club, Doumbe insists that everyone wants to see the side succeed.

He said: “When you play, you want to play well and keep your position. But in the dressing room there is no competition between us because it would break the unity of the team.

“Everybody wants to give their best for the team. It’s very important to keep that defence strong. You look at any team in the world and their defence is strong, it’s where everything starts.

“James Tavernier has done really well. He had a good game against Huddersfield and since then he has been getting better and better.”

Dons now have two wins on the spin, having beaten Oldham 5-0 on Saturday and then Bury 2-1 on Tuesday night, firmly digging their heels into the League 1 play-off spots.

And after those back-to-back victories, Doumbe thinks Dons are back on track to mount a serious challenge on the automatic promotion spots, but they must not lose sight of the next game.

He said: “We lost the game to Charlton, so we really wanted to react. We beat Oldham 5-0, and had another win on Tuesday, so we’re back on track.

“The season so far has been going really well. We didn’t have a great January – we got a lot of draws and were unlucky in a lot of games, and got a few red cards.

“But we’re still on track, we’re not far from the top. If we can be positive in the next few games and pick up some valuable points, we’ll be in a good place.

“Every point is important. Unfortunately, we didn’t take as many points off our direct rivals as we’d have liked. So it’s really important to take points off the teams below us.”