Dons must now live with a weight of expectation

Karl Robinson
Karl Robinson

Karl Robinson believes Dons are now having to live up to expectation after they made it 12 League 1 games without defeat with the 1-0 win over Notts County on Boxing Day.

Daniel Powell’s first half strike was enough to separate the two sides, but Dons were guilty of wasting a whole host of chances to put the game beyond the home side.

With a gap now opening up between the top four - of which Dons are one - and the chasing pack behind, Robinson knows his side are beginning to pop up on the radar of others in the division.

“We’ve put ourselves in a really good position,” he said. “But everyone else in the top four will be thinking the same.

“We just have to keep taking every game as it comes and count our points at the end. We have to play with the added pressure of what people expect of us. We’re a strong group, there’s a lot of togetherness.”

After the 7-0 win last week against Oldham Athletic, Dons didn’t appear to have their shooting boots on at Meadow Lane, with Benik Afobe, Dele Alli and Dean Lewington among those missing great opportunities in front of goal.

But after excellent victories throughout December, Robinson admitted he can’t feel angry at his players for not making life easier towards the end of the game.

He said: “We probably created just as many chances, but we just didn’t convert them. I can’t be cross with them though, because they took them last week.

“Benik’s disappointed because he feels he should have had four goals. But his work ethic was excellent, I couldn’t bring him off. Dean Bowditch has been a revelation in recent weeks.

“I don’t think Powell played especially well, but he scored the winner! We brought him in after the 7-0 win, but it just shows how a fresh player can make a difference.

“We’ve played a lot of tough games recently and we’ve had chances to win them all. This month has been so hard for us, but the players have been sensational.

“Notts County have given us a very difficult afternoon so we’re really happy to come away with a point. They surprised us by playing a diamond, and we had to make a change. But within two minutes, all my preparation was out of the window!”