FROM World Cup winners to non-league minnows – that’s how Karl Robinson described his side’s performance against Crewe Alexandra on Saturday.
Charlie MacDonald’s eighth minute goal threatened to open the floodgates as Dons dominated the first half. But Alan Martin in the Crewe net was hardly forced to make a save for the rest of the game, as the visitors began to find their feet at stadium:mk, even hitting the upright early in the second half.
But despite the flip-flop in the performance, it’s another three points on the board as Dons rise up to second in the League 1 table.
“The first half was like Brazil, the second half was like Bridlington!” joked Robinson after the game. “I think in the first half, that’s as good as you’re ever going to see in League 1.
“But when we’re that good, we need to be clinical and take our chances, but we didn’t.
“At the start of the second half, we started slightly sloppily and in fairness to Crewe, they came out with all the ability and youthful energy they’ve got and made the second half difficult for us.
“Although they had a few chances, so did we.
“But I’m furious with the second half performance. Maybe I’m being harsh on the players, but that’s the standards we set and we’ve got to maintain them for a lot longer than we did today.
“At half time, all we talked about was kicking on and making it count. I just don’t know what happened. Adam Chicksen gave the ball away a few times, but so did Antony Kay and Shaun Williams too. The forwards didn’t hold the ball up, the wide men started running around and losing the shape, Chadwick started to run around on his own!
“We made the substitutions and looked better. Daniel Powell, Scott Allen and Ryan Lowe came on and livened the game up a bit.
“We’ve come away from here, not having played so well in the second half, with the three points. Overall I think we deserved it, although we were sloppy for large parts of the second half.
“I don’t think it was luck, because Crewe rode their luck a lot more than we did in the first half. I think we were better than they were in the second half, it’s just disappointing that we weren’t more clinical in and out of possession.”
Scott Allan’s first appearance since signing for Dons on Saturday morning breathed a new life into Dons as the second half wore on, and Robinson admitted he is a player he has been watching for a while now.
He said: “He’s a talent, but you can see he’s not match sharp. He’s a player we watched religiously for the last six months and I thought I’d never get the opportunity to get him.
“When he went to Portsmouth last season, I thought he’d go from strength to strength, so we’re incredibly lucky to have him.”
With three points in the bag, Robinson and his charges have barely any time to relax as they prepare for a trip to the Ricoh Arena to take on Coventry City on Tuesday night, before playing host to Portsmouth at stadium:mk next Saturday.
And the manager knows the importance the next seven days could play in his side’s press for promotion.
“The next two games are massive,” he said. “The next seven days of football are vital in helping us kick on now. There’s been a lot of draws around us today so when you get games like these, you’ve got to take your chances when they come along.
“It’s a step in the right direction today, it’s a step forward in momentum in terms of the league table and a good confidence boost ahead of Coventry on Tuesday.
“We give our all in every game, as you saw against Northampton and Sunderland. We leave nothing behind. We got beaten fair and square, but maybe dropping out of the cup competitions is a blessing in disguise.”