‘I CAN’T believe it,’ exclaimed Karl Robinson after he watched his MK Dons side waste three excellent chances to put Coventry City to bed, eventually being forced to settle for a 1-1 draw at the Ricoh Arena on Tuesday night.
Richard Wood’s header put the Sky Blues ahead before Stephen Gleeson’s shot took a wicked deflection past Joe Murphy to equalise.
But the story of the game was not the goals, rather what happened in front of them, particularly as Dons wasted chance after chance to win the game – almost frightened of shooting.
Daniel Powell, Luke Chadwick, Darren Potter, Dean Bowditch and Charlie MacDonald all had gilt-edged chances to put Dons’ noses in front, but for one reason or another, passing became the preferred option as opposed to lashing the ball goalwards.
“I can’t believe it,” said Robinson afterwards. “They started well for the first five minutes, they caused us some big problems, but we were by far and away the better team.
“We created enough chances to win four or five more games. We conceded from a set-piece, but from there we were magnificent. They just couldn’t get near us. Our ball retention, wing play, getting the ball wide – it was excellent. We just couldn’t finish our chances.
“Powell had three, Charlie had one, Bowditch had two – I could sit here all night and list them all. But it’s not down to having bad players. They’re just having a barren spell.
“This is a very, very good MK Dons team that is just lacking a little bit of an edge in front of goal.
“People know where we’re going wrong. It’s so glaringly obvious. The players obviously have to put it right themselves, or we’re going to have to make serious changes. I back them to score goals. They did it last year.
“The front six that started the game was the same as last season when we scored more than 110 goals. Today, it just didn’t go in.
“I don’t know what it is. It might be confidence at times, but sometimes it just doesn’t bounce right either. Charlie’s chance got stuck under his feet, a player fell on the ball – it’s just luck.”
But while the 600-odd Dons fans travelling back down the M1 would have been left frustrated by the lack of a predator in front of goal to get their side ahead, Robinson urged patience, willing the support not to get too worried just yet.
He said: “We work on it (finishing) everyday in training, and it just doesn’t seem to be coming for us. We’ll come good eventually.
“If I was sitting here talking about scraping a 1-1, nicking a goal late on, it’d be a different story saying what a great performance it was.
“We work on it every day, but it’ll happen. You cannot legislate for these things. We always knew they’d be a threat here, but it was disappointing they got the goal when they did.
“But we need to go away and take the positives. There won’t be many teams who come here and outplay them the way we did tonight.”