Dons need miracles to make the top six

Karl Robinson
Karl Robinson

Karl Robinson believes Dons could pull off one of football’s biggest ever miracles if they are to make the League 1 play-off this season.

Dons are currently sat 13th in the table, 11 points from the all-important sixth spot with just eight games remaining.

Form has evaded Dons since Christmas, picking up just three wins in League 1 - a slump which has seen them slide progressively down the order.

But Robinson has set a target of 18 points from the remaining 24 available - a feat he still believes his side can pull off.

“If we make it, it will be one of the biggest miracles football has ever seen,” he said.

“It would have been so much harder without the fans who are still positive.

“It’s still the target and we still feel capable of winning the games. We’re getting fitter too.

“I met with everybody individually last week, talked about what I expect of them, and what they expect of me.

“We spoke about standards, loyalty and benchmarks we’ve created. It’s allowed me to look at the root of the problems that we’re having now that we haven’t had in the past.

“We know we’re still a long way from where we want to be and I won’t pull any punches on that. But I still believe that we wouldn’t be where we are now if we had everybody fit.

“I’ve not given up on this season yet. We’ve made it very difficult for ourselves, but there’s still hope and a chance.”

That chance could be magnified, or adversely, it could be shot dead as the Easter weekend approaches.

Dons travel to relegation strugglers Hartlepool on Good Friday before travelling back for a crunch game with play-off hopefuls Brentford on Easter Monday.

“It could shape the season.” Robinson said. “We’ve had such a bad season so far but it could put us back in with a shout.

“We have to put a run of four wins together somewhere. And if we do that, the belief will come back.

“We keep falling at certain hurdles. It has been a very frustrating and stop-start season.”

While Robinson remains positive about the possibility of the play-offs, he admits that another season in League 1 could see him lose several key players in the summer.

He said: “If we do make it, great, if we don’t then we’ll go again next season. But it has been difficult.

“I don’t think we’ll keep all of them. It’s not fair to individually name them, but it’s hard because some of them have out-grown the club, and it’s time for them to test their wits at the next level.

“They’ve all been tremendous assets to the club. But I know they’ve put their heart and soul into the club too.

“I think 90 per cent of the club will stay, which is a wonderful percentage.

“I know a lot of people come and watch our games. It’s important that if we do sell players, we have to use the money wisely.

“I’ve already got summer targets, but there’s a lot of games to go before then, and I have to focus on the rest of this season.”

While some may be heading for the exits at stadium:mk, the club is working hard behind the scenes to lock down the future of other players, including Adam Chicksen who is expected to pen a new deal next week.

Robinson has dubbed this season ‘his biggest learning curve’ since taking over at the helm in 2010.

But if he can pull off what many are already claiming is impossible, this season could well turn out to be his biggest achievement too.