Robbo’s still very wary of the drop

MK Dons manager Karl Robinson and Bolton Wanderers First Team Manager Neil Lennon during the Sky Bet Championship match between Bolton Wanderers and Milton Keynes Dons at the Macron Stadium, Bolton, England on 23 January 2016. Photo by Simon Davies. PSI-1453-0008
MK Dons manager Karl Robinson and Bolton Wanderers First Team Manager Neil Lennon during the Sky Bet Championship match between Bolton Wanderers and Milton Keynes Dons at the Macron Stadium, Bolton, England on 23 January 2016. Photo by Simon Davies. PSI-1453-0008
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Karl Robinson isn’t going to stop looking over his shoulder at the relegation zone, despite a six point gap to the bottom three.

Despite late goals costing his side at least six points this year, Dons have kept their noses out of the drop zone since last November.

While the lost points would see Dons as high as 17th in the table, vitally it would move them 12 points away from the bottom three, making their chances of relegation remote with 13 games to go.

But the fact remains that Dons are six points clear, and even though it means the teams below them - Charlton, Bolton and Rotherham - are two wins back, Robinson refuses to stop looking over his shoulder.

“Even if we stay up, I’ll be looking over my shoulder sat on the beach through habit! We need to stay positive,” he said.”If you bank the six points we’ve lost against Leeds, Middlesbrough and Huddersfield - games we should have won - we’re 12 points clear of the relegation zone.

“That’s not management or quality, you just can’t predict this industry. Those points would put us right up the table.

“But if things had gone differently against Huddersfield, we could have been two points clear, rather than six. That’s a four-point swing.

“Six points at this stage is big because big results start to become unachievable for the teams below you.

“We’re on 32 points, and everyone aims for 40. With the teams below us on 26, 40 is a long way off. If they need five wins, they might not have won that many all season.

“There’s an unpredictably to this league though.

“We are nowhere near out of the mire just yet. Historically, one team gets dragged back in, and one of the relegation three gets out. We have to make sure we’re not playing second fiddle to the great escape.”

Two weeks ago, few backed Dons to pick up anything from games at Cardiff and Derby, sandwiching a home game against Middlesbrough, but against the odds Dons came away with five.

Having picked up just one though from subsequent games against Bristol City and Huddersfield, Robinson feels there has been greater expectation on his side

He said: “A lot of people got too carried away and forgot the real world after that week. We know we were poor against Bristol City.

“But I think we made Huddersfield look distinctly average. Our passing and quality was there for all to see in the first half.

“But you get carried away with small things in football, and get down about little things too. There’s an awful lot of football still to play, and we’ve got an internal target to reach.

“If we can get to the international break and re-evaluate, it will be a really hard final six weeks.”