A TRIP to Brentford on Saturday feels a bit like the calm after the storm, but the reality is that MK Dons will need to be at their best to take anything from one of their toughest away days of the season.
They may have been held to a 1-1 draw at Bradford in the weekend’s first FA Cup second round tie, but the west London side have been enjoying a rich vein of form – an eight game unbeaten run, including wins over Swindon and Sheffield United, lifting Uwe Rosler’s men into the League 1 play-off places.
Now just one point and two places behind Dons who sit third, Brentford have – with the help of 11 goals in 24 appearances from in-form striker Clayton Donaldson – announced themselves as serious promotion contenders, and therefore serious rivals to Karl Robinson’s men.
However, buoyed by Sunday’s epic 2-1 victory against AFC Wimbledon, Dons should be afraid of no one – their own unbeaten run stretched to nine games in all competitions thanks to goals from Stephen Gleeson and Jon Otsemobor. Robinson doesn’t mind proclaiming that it’s ‘us against the world’. And at the moment, Dons are winning.
They might not have reached the scintillating heights of recent weeks when they saw off AFC, but following a season-turning month of November, not too many people were bothered about the performance on the day.
Robinson described the last month as potentially hugely significant to his side’s promotion challenge. Indeed, Dons do appear to be riding the crest of a wave as the season nears its halfway mark.
But to continue surfing that wave of optimism they will need to pull a few more big results out of the hat during December. Dons could potentially go level on points with leaders Tranmere on Saturday, and while Rovers fight to keep their wheels on the track in light of some disappointing results, Dons are ready to pounce.
After Brentford they face another difficult trip to face a Doncaster side who have come out of nowhere, and a four-game winning run, to also emerge as title contenders. There’s no doubt about it, the League 1 table is starting to take shape.
And after some doubts regarding their ability to seriously challenge the division’s big spenders this season, Dons are well positioned to march on, and finally compete for an automatic promotion place come May.