Karl Robinson has urged fans to be patient with Devante Cole after another difficult showing on Saturday against Notts County.
The 19-year-old, on loan from Manchester City, missed a sitter against Walsall in stoppage time last Saturday, before squandering a one-on-one at stadium:mk seven days later against the Magpies.
Substituted at 0-0 early in the second half, Dons went on to win 4-1, with his replacement Will Grigg bagging a brace.
Manager Robinson though has pleaded with fans to support the teenager as he goes through his dip in form.
“Cole’s movement was sensational on Saturday,” said the manager. “He’s just having one of those moments that all strikers go through.
“But don’t forget how young he is. He’s only 19, he’s still so young. People expect him to be a top striker, but he’s a later developer.
“He’ll play at the highest level, and people need to be patient, and give him the time, the warmth and love we give young players. He’ll come good, he’s a top player.”
But while Cole has struggled in recent weeks, Grigg has found his scoring boots again, netting three in three as Dons picked up seven points from the last nine.
His strike against Walsall and the first against Notts County were almost carbon copies of each other - firing in from close range after a cut back from Dean Bowditch: proper poacher’s goals.
Robinson said: “A lot of our striker’s goals should be those types of goals. What he does well, for someone who isn’t as quick as Benik Afobe, is that he likes to run in behind.
He’s only 19, he’s still so young. People expect him to be a top striker.Karl Robinson
“I’m made up for Grigg. It’s his biggest ever goal tally from open play. He got a big move from Walsall with fewer goals. If he’d have taken penalties, he’d have had 20 goals. He was a tremendous find for us in the summer.”
Not only are his goals becoming infamous, so are his celebrations - from celebrating in front of an empty stand, to not celebrating then going wild against his former club Walsall, to ‘the Griggle’ - Robinson feels the front man, on loan from Brentford, has certainly won the fans over.
He said: “His goal celebrations are unique, his celebration against Walsall was very unique!
“He’s a great lad, and the fans seem to really like him. The fans lifted when he came on. They appreciate how hard he works and they see him trying his best, whether he scores or not.”