Goals win games, and as obvious as it sounds, it has been MK Dons’ biggest problem, not just this season, but for several years.
In 29 games this season, Dons have scored just 35 goals this season, which is an underwhelming number, and even more so when you consider they have put four past teams on four separate occasions this season.
But on so many occasions, including most recently against Shrewsbury, Dons’ lack of killer instinct has let them down, and cost them points.
“The way we played and chances we created, we’re massively disappointed,” said Robbie Neilson after Shaun Whalley’s late equalise against Shrewsbury.
“We had a lot of chances and if we’d had the second goal we would have seen out the game.”
And statistically, he is right. Under Neilson, Dons haven’t lost a game when they’ve score more than two goals. In fact, it has only happened twice since they were relegated from the Championship.
Whether it is squandering chances before eventually taking the lead, failing to drive home their advantage when in front or simply being unable to carve anything further clear cut, Dons simply aren’t prolific enough.
“We know we have to be better with a goal lead, and maybe score two or three,” said Peter Pawlett, who has chipped in with two in the last three games.
“I had a chance, Os (Sow) had a good chance in the first half, and if we put those away we’re out of sight. We need to be more clinical.”
If there are any positives to take, it’s the share of goals throughout the squad. Gboly Ariyibi, recognised as a winger primarily, leads the way with seven goals, while fellow wide man Aidan Nesbitt and midfielder Ed Upson aren’t far behind.
And though it took him19 games to find the net, last season’s top scorer Kieran Agard has scored five in five and has theair of confidence surrounding him again.
But with strikers Osman Sow and Ryan Seager having just five between them, the main men need to stand up and do their jobs.
And if that doesn’t start to happen in the next few weeks, Neilson may be looking for guaranteed goals in the January transfer window.