If you take the Cup seriously, you never know says Barker

Benik Afobe celebrates his second against Bradford. Pic: JAR
Benik Afobe celebrates his second against Bradford. Pic: JAR

Richie Barker admits Dons probably aren’t going to win the Capital One Cup, but admits stranger things have happened.

Dons booked their spot in the last 16 for the first time in their history with a 2-0 win over Bradford City on Tuesday night - a side that made it to the final of the competition just two years ago while still in League 2.

Benik Afobe scored his eighth and ninth goals of the season in either half to settle it for Dons in an otherwise uneventful evening at stadium:mk.

And Dons are making their own history with each passing round in this competition, though it’s not something that was mentioned before the game, admits Barker.

“I don’t think it was something we particularly highlighted before the game, but it certainly was talked about afterwards,” said the Head of Coaching. “It’s something the players should be extremely proud of. It keeps the momentum going, the entertainment going.

“Quite a few big clubs have gone out already, so it is becoming quite interesting.

“We did mention to the players that they’d kick themselves if they didn’t make it through.

“Can we win it? No, we’re pretty low down the pecking order. But we knew Bradford would take it seriously based on the last couple of seasons, and it has given everyone the enthusiasm to take it seriously and give it a go.

“There are a couple of League 1 clubs still in there, so all we can ask for is a home draw and take it from there.”

Afobe was undoubtedly the stand out performer for the home side, not only for his goals but for his all-round work ethic.

Having come off the bench to score against Crewe on Saturday, Barker admits both Afobe and Will Grigg are giving him and manager Karl Robinson a good headache when ti comes to team selection.

Barker said: “Benik has scored many different goals, but he’s scored a few one-on-ones too with his pace. I thought the way he took his first goal was excellent. I didn’t realise how good it was until I watched it again. He’s got everything.

“Both he and Will have been fantastic, and we rotate them, but each time the other starts, they score. It gives us a headache when it comes to team selection.

“As a pair, I think they’ve got 16 goals between them, but they’ve hardly played together. It’s testament to the players behind them too.”