From beginning of the end to the end of the beginning

A lot has changed in the landscape of MK Dons in the last seven days.

Saturday, 17th March 2018, 8:56 pm
Updated Saturday, 17th March 2018, 10:05 pm
Dons' win over Bury leaves them just a point from safety

From a wasted journey to Yorkshire for a postponed game at Bradford, Dons finally won a game under Dan Micciche... and then two. The gap to safety went from six points, to seven, to four and now reads at just one point - the same it was when Robbie Neilson was sacked back in January. From little to no hope, there is suddenly a sense that MK Dons might just stay up this season.

The notoriously fickle world of football though could see the landscape change again next week, but it also may see Dons climb out of League 1's bottom four, turning Micciche from hapless to hero in the space of two weeks. His record at the start of the week is well known - no wins in his opening eight matches, and people were questioning if, rather than when, a victory would ever come. On Tuesday though, it finally came together.

He was able to put out a side with his big hitters. Citing the absence of Peter Pawlett and Osman Sow for recent disappointments, both started against Rotherham. Citing his front men missing chances, his side took three of them, and until that time, Dons had only scored three in eight games. And for the first time, Dons' performance against the Millers saw the team put "Dan's Plan" into action for a full 90 minutes, and the result followed as Dons were 3-2 winners. Regardless of what the manager said afterwards, it was a massive weight off his shoulders.

Getting his first win under the belt was huge - not just for the manager out to prove a point and build a reputation, but for the club as a whole. Seldom spotted for months, people were smiling around Stadium MK in the build up to the clash with Bury on Saturday.

But having found the formula, it was a different performance required against Bury four days later. Two teams at the foot of the table went to battle, and predictably, it was a messy game. There weren't sweeping moves, quick-tempo passes and fancy touches as there were against Rotherham. Chances were few, defending agricultural at times and tackles were heavy hitting. It wasn't pretty but they'd done enough, courtesy of Chuks Aneke's penalty kicks, to get the points over the line.

His post-match comments too came across as a man who has proven a point to his doubters. Seeing his team score five goals in two games, he feels vindicated in not signing a striker in January, and believes people are now seeing his plan come to the fore... and not a moment too soon.

Now, there aren't any questions over whether Micciche can make this team win games - he's proven he can. But his mission remains: keep MK Dons in League 1. As it stands, they're still in the drop zone and will still need to do an awful lot to make sure they escape the scrap at the wrong end of the table. With the rot stopped though, they're in with a shout of something which a week ago looked nearly impossible - they could yet survive.

Dan Micciche celebrates his second win as Dons boss
Dan Micciche celebrates his second win as Dons boss