The League 1 table is not a barometer... yet

George C Williams missed a glorious chance in stoppage time against Oxford

George C Williams missed a glorious chance in stoppage time against Oxford

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A penalty miss and a header into the side netting are all that separate Dons and the play-off places, and Karl Robinson thinks a corner has been turned.

While there were cries of a relegation battle from some quarters after defeats to Peterborough and Northampton, performances against Bolton and Oxford have seen Dons stop the rot, even if they have only picked up draws in each game.

Kieran Agard squandered a one-on-one late in the Oxford game

Kieran Agard squandered a one-on-one late in the Oxford game

Still 17th in League 1 though, Dons aren’t out of the woods, but Robinson feels the league table is yet to be a real represenatation of who the big movers and shakers will be.

“I understand why people are looking below us,” he said. “After 10 games, the league table is usually a good barometer. But I don’t think it is in our case.

“We score the penalty at Bolton and score one of the best chances I’ve ever seen against Oxford - if they go in, we’re in the play-offs, three points off the top.

“I’m not blaming those things, but that doesn’t make us a bad team. I’m just using logical markers to show where we are. We’d be sitting on 13 points.

“No-one is happy with the league table, but we’re happy with the performances. I’m not accepting it though.”

It’s probably not a coincidence that Dons appeared to have gelled after two weeks on the training pitch.

Having played nine games in 25 days in August, Dons have now played three in 22 September days, which, according to Robinson, has allowed new partnerships to grow.

He said: “Two centre backs, full-backs and wingers, number 9 and number 10. All the partnerships are new at the moment. I saw moments in the first half against Oxford of them beginning to get that understanding.”