Back-to-back wins help take the pressure off
MK Dons 2-1 Plymouth Argyle
A week ago, Dons were licking their wounds after a 1-0 defeat to Blackpool - a third defeat in a row and fourth in five matches. Seven days later, two wins on the spin have changed the complexion and the mood at Stadium MK again.
Now 15 points clear of the relegation zone, and incidentally seven points off an unlikely play-off spot, Dons' turnaround has given a boost to the first-team squad after what their manager called the worst run the team has had since the start of the season.
Scott Fraser's last-minute penalty secured them a second win in three days against Plymouth Argyle on Tuesday night, adding to the 3-2 win over Accrington Stanley on Saturday as Dons climbed back up to 14th spot in League One.
"It makes us all breathe a little bit easier," said manager Russell Martin afterwards. "We've come through the sticky period to win the games in the way we have and to play our way is brilliant.
"It would be easy to lose belief after that run. After the start of the season, that's the first really difficult period we've had and it would have been easy to lose a bit of what we do. But we've gone all in on it, they accept what they're capable of. This season is about improvement and we want to finish as strong as we can.
"We've come through a really tough period, and although we lost to Blackpool, we've gotten better in each of the three games. They've done fantastically well, and they deserved to win.
"Plymouth are a good side, I really like them a lot and really respect the way they play. Playing against a good press, we really believed.
"We just need to get conditioned to play like that every week so we don't have periods where it can get sticky. And it did around 60 minutes when we had a few guys really tired. We were trying to get some subs on when they scored. We needed more energy."