Robbo vows ‘Dons will stay up’

Milton Keynes Dons manager Karl Robinson and Milton Keynes Dons head of coaching Richie Barker during the Sky Bet Championship match between Brighton and Hove Albion and Milton Keynes Dons at the American Express Community Stadium, Brighton and Hove, England on 7 November 2015. PSI-1118-0002
Milton Keynes Dons manager Karl Robinson and Milton Keynes Dons head of coaching Richie Barker during the Sky Bet Championship match between Brighton and Hove Albion and Milton Keynes Dons at the American Express Community Stadium, Brighton and Hove, England on 7 November 2015. PSI-1118-0002

MK Dons will not get relegated this season, manager Karl Robinson has vowed, despite seeing his side falling into the relegation zone on Saturday.

Ten man Dons lost 2-1 to second placed Brighton at stadium:mk after Carl Baker missed a last minute penalty to equalise, while Rotherham were 1-0 winners against Ipswich to see Dons slip into the bottom three with eight games to go.

Karl Robinson (Manager) showing the strain during the Sky Bet Championship match between Middlesbrough and Milton Keynes Dons at the Riverside Stadium, Middlesbrough, England on 12 September 2015. Photo by George Ledger. PSI-0876-0015

Karl Robinson (Manager) showing the strain during the Sky Bet Championship match between Middlesbrough and Milton Keynes Dons at the Riverside Stadium, Middlesbrough, England on 12 September 2015. Photo by George Ledger. PSI-0876-0015

But despite going from six points clear of the drop zone just a month ago to now sitting in it, the manager remains defiant.

“I believe we still stay up,” he said. “The performances have allowed me to believe. Without the performances, I cannot say that to you.

“This team is good enough for me to believe we should be a million miles from this fight.

“We know we have the worst budget, haven’t spent and lost our best players from last year.

“But we should have six or seven points at least on top of our tally. We’re centimetres away. We should be away from that. And this team is, in my head.

“I have to eradicate the unpredictably, and only judge it on what I see. I respect results, of course, but when results are a by-product of a lack of luck, I cannot judge the team on that. They’re certainly good enough.”

Dons now have two weeks to dwell on their league position, with the international break taking place over the usually busy Easter weekend before the crucial match with Fulham at Craven Cottage on April 2.

And though it’s a long time to reflect, Robinson feels the league table will hold no relevance until all the final day of the season when everything is over.

He said: “I’m not worried at all. It only becomes an issue on May 7, when what we do is or isn’t enough. If it’s not enough, I’ll be just as proud of them. We’ve shown to everyone that we’ve had everything go against us and we’re still only a point behind Fulham.

“If we stay up, it’ll be the greatest achievement of my career. And hopefully this will be as difficult as it’ll get in my career. There’s a really good core of people here that want to make us move forward.”