DONS are going through a ‘bit of a blip’ at the moment, according to Karl Robinson after he saw his side waste chance after chance before fighting back to draw 2-2 against lowly Bournemouth at stadium:mk on Saturday.
Despite dominating the first half, Dons failed to convert their chances into goals – only Angelo Balanta’s 42nd minute strike the difference between the sides at the break.
Dean Bowditch hit the post within seconds of the restart and missed a simple header just yards out, but some slack defending from Dons allowed Warren Cumming’s free-kick to be met by an unmarked Wesley Thomas on the hour mark to equalise for the Cherries against the run of play.
Dons continued to surge forward but couldn’t make their chances count up against an in-form Darryl Flahavan in the Bournemouth goal.
But a dreadful error from Gary MacKenzie 17 minutes from time gifted the visitors the lead. Under no pressure, MacKenzie passed the ball across the face of the penalty area straight to the feet of Thomas, who dinked around Mark Beevers and fired past David Martin, putting Bournemouth 2-1 ahead.
MacKenzie made up for his earlier error late in the game though when he headed back across goal at the other end for Clinton Morrison to bundle home from close range for his third goal in as many games, rescuing a point for Dons and sparing the Scotish defender’s blushes.
But with just one win in the last eight, Robinson admits his side aren’t in the hottest of form right now, although he is pleased that his side have only suffered two defeats in that time.
Robinson said: “I think we’re going through a bit of a blip at the moment, but we aren’t losing games which is key. We need to dust ourselves off and make sure we can improve.
“When you have a blip it’s a positive thing that you’re not losing, but we will move on and do the right things.
“The set-piece was criminal. We don’t defend like that normally. We’re usually strong and are good from set-pieces, but we let people run at us. And the other one was a human error, that’s life and you have to accept that and move on.
After he described last Monday’s performance against Oldham as the worst of the season, Robinson was pleased with the way his players responded to that defeat, even if the result didn’t go their way.
He said: “I’m pleased with the response, not really with the result. I’m pleased with the effort they put in, they didn’t come back and crumble like a lot of team could have.
“It’s difficult when you’re losing a game you should be winning to then get back on level terms. The team showed great character, and it shows we’re a good team, with sides coming here and changing their system to stop us.”
On loan star Morrison is showing a keen eye in front of goal, netting three times in his last three appearances. And while Balanta also has two goals in three, Robinson wants his other players to start chipping in with goals or face losing their place in the starting line-up.
“I wish some of the others would chip in with goals too at key times,” he said. “I can’t keep defending these missed chances. I might have to change it and say ‘score goals or you won’t play.’
“Otherwise we have to look at other avenues. But I back the players to come back and start scoring.
“We have to be more ruthless in the final third. We dominated for massive periods, but we never took our chances. Not many of them missed the target and their keeper pulled off some fantastic saves.
“But I’m sure that when we do make them count, it will be six or seven.”