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Dons aren’t ready for the Championship, says Robbo

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Karl Robinson admitted his side aren’t ready to go up, despite moving up to seventh in League 1.

George Baldock’s stoppage time screamer earned Dons all three points at the County Ground on Saturday as Dons overcame a 1-0 deficit at half time to win 2-1.

But with two more crucial games in the next seven days, Robinson admits his side aren’t ready for the Championship the way they are.

“We are a million miles away to be honest. I think structurally, we’re close. But to be in seventh is a magic trick.

“I’ve not spent any money and sold nearly £5 million of players. But we’ve competed year in, year out.

“I don’t think we’re ready to go up, but I’m going to give it every ounce of quality we’ve got.

“If we do go up, we have to make sure things change so that we stay up. The chairman has built a brilliant a model and it will be ready one day. But it won’t stop me from trying.”

Baldock’s winner came after David Martin spilled Alex Pritchard’s shot, gifting Michael Smith a free header after 20 minutes to put the home side ahead.

Dons didn’t look like coming back into the game until the second half, and inspired by the influential 17-year-old Dele Alli once again, Antony Kay headed Dons level before Baldock rifled in the winner.

“We deserved to win. We had a negative plan in the first half, but we felt we could deny them opportunities. We felt we could frustrate their fans.

“But it was a glaring error which let them score, but that was the only one.

“That’s a very good Swindon side. To win this today and get six points out of six against them this season shows it’s an important win.

“It was a good game for the neutral. Smith was controlling the two ahead of him.”

Dean Bowditch made his return to first team action with 15 minutes to go, and should have made it easier for Dons with five minutes remaining when he was put through on goal by Izale McLeod.

But he squandered the opportunity to mark his second return of the season with yet another comeback goal - something which Robinson would’ve put his house on.

“I thought Bowditch was going to win it for us with five minutes to go,” he said. “I expected him to score - if you’d have asked me to put a man in that position, it would be Dean Bowditch.”

Baldock’s spectacular winner will steal the headlines from the game, though Robinson’s celebration saw him run from his technical area half the length of the field to join his team.

He said: “George picked it up, and put it in the top corner. And I was off! If I’ve offended anyone I apologise, but the way we came from behind to win it is very good.

“I started off in the technical area, but when it went in, I knew I couldn’t go back! It was a big win for us. It was one of our biggest wins of the season.”

And though Baldock will take the plaudits, Robinson, and skipper Dean Lewington, believe he could be the best to ever pull on a Dons shirt.

Robinson said: “Dele Alli today... Dean Lewington just said to me that he could be the best footballer we’ve ever had at the club. He’s the best.”

 

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