AUTOMATIC promotion is not something Dons’ players dare talk about for fear of disappointment, so says Mathias Doumbe.
Dons’ 1-0 win against Peterborough on Monday saw them move fifth in League One and to within three points of second placed Huddersfield, before other results also went their way on Tuesday night as teams caught up with games in hand.
However, any thoughts of playing in the Championship next season are still too far away for Doumbe, despite there being just eight games remaining this season.
“It’s a possibility mathematically, but there are a lot of good teams around us,” he said. “We’ve got to play Huddersfield and Southampton yet - two sides above us - and then there are tough places we still have to go, like Plymouth and Swindon trying to survive in this league.
“It’s hard for us to focus on the league table because if you get too far ahead of yourselves, you will get very disappointed if it doesn’t happen and the players will get their heads down.
“We’re just going to take it game by game and hope we get there.”
Dons’ lock-out against Posh on Monday was their 15th this season, and was the first time that Peterborough had failed to score since October.
Doumbe, alongside Gary MacKenzie at the heart of the Dons defence, have formed a key partnership which has seen the club concede just two goals in their last seven outings.
“I think Gary just needed a run of games. He was injured at the beginning of the season, so it was me and Sean (O’Hanlon) in the middle of the defence, and then he had a couple of suspensions too,” said Doumbe.
“But he’s played a lot of games in a row and that has helped him settle in, and he has been excellent since then and scored his first goal on Monday.”
“It gives you confidence, because you know you’re doing a good job. We know that with the team we have and way we play, we are going to create chances and score goals.”
But while not looking too far into the future, Doumbe said that manager Karl Robinson’s achievements, in his opinion, have justified an offer of a new contract to keep him at the club next season.
“I think he’s done well this season - we all have,” he said. “Nobody expected us to be there, but there are a lot of people here who deserve to have a good reward for their work this season.”