Automatic promotion is still Dons’ goal

Dons celebrate scoring against Notts County. Pic: Jane Russell
Dons celebrate scoring against Notts County. Pic: Jane Russell

Karl Robinson feels Dons might need just another point to be safe of a place in the play-offs, but he hasn’t given up on the dream of automatic promotion.

With 24 points on offer between now and the end of the season, Dons are looking fairly safe in fourth place in League 1. They lead Chesterfield, who occupy the final play-off spot, by 12 points and have a game in hand over the Spireites.

Once we know the dream of the top two is no longer there, we can reassess.

Karl Robinson

“I think another points should be enough to get us into the play-offs,” he said. “So that leaves us with one point to get from eight games.

“Once we know the dream of the top two is no longer there, we can reassess. For us to be talking about this with eight games to go shows what an unbelievable season we’ve had.

“I remember over Easter when we lost to Plymouth, and we had a difficult time to get the one win to get us over the line. This time of year brings up some weird and wonderful results. You never know, this just could be our month.”

While the play-offs are almost a dead cert, Robinson’s focus remains on the final automatic promotion spot. Dons trail Preston by five points, and take on fellow contenders Swindon on Saturday in the battle for third place.

Snatching third from under Swindon’s nose would theoretically leave Dons with an easier tie in the play-offs, Robinson says his side don’t care who they’ll play - assuming they need the play-offs to go up.

He said: “We have no preferred fixture, any way around. We’ll take all comers.

“Hopefully, we don’t have to! And we’re not finished. It’s a really exciting time.”

And should Dons finally reach the second tier this time, Robinson admitted several members of the current squad may not be part of the Championship campaign.

He said: “We all dream of promotion and it’s something I want so much. A lot of people’s career at MK Dons might be coming to an end, or just beginning. People may want to leave on the biggest high of their life, or join when the club is on the up.

“We go into April in a wonderful position.”

Dons will travel to the County Ground on Saturday without Ben Reeves and Carl Baker.

Reeves has been ruled out for the rest of the season with a calf injury, while Baker too misses out through injury.

Robinson reassured fans though, adding Baker would be back within a week.

“He’ll probably be out for a week,” he added. “It was a two week injury but he’s already had a week off. He’ll be ok for the run in.”