It’s que sera sera as Dons await fate

Will MK Dons be celebrating again on Sunday?
Will MK Dons be celebrating again on Sunday?

Whether the season is extended or ends in an instant, one way or another, Dons will know their fate by Sunday afternoon.

Just a single, solitary point is all that separates Dons and Preston over the course of 45 League 1 matches. And it could be that point that dictates whether Dons find a home in the promised land, or have to face a gut-wrenching play-off campaign instead.

Whatever happens come 3pm on Sunday afternoon, this is one that will remain a remarkable season.

Even before kick off, Dons have broken their largest points haul in this division. Admittedly, beating the scores from the previous two seasons, which saw Dons limp rather than gallop towards the end of the campaign, hasn’t been too troubling.

Beating the clean sheet record has been one of the key instigators in launching the season to the heights Karl Robinson and his charges find themselves at this stage, while netting 96 league goals has gone a long way in proving the goal-shy nature of the side 12 months ago is firmly dead and buried.

Naturally, there are points to look back on and wonder ‘what if.’

What if Luke Ayling’s handball had been a bit more obvious when Dons played Bristol City?

What if Dons hadn’t started quite so poorly against Coventry City at the Ricoh to find themselves 2-0 within a matter of minutes?

What if Swindon had fielded a full-strength side against Preston last Saturday and given them a little run for their money?

Each little factor will be running through the minds of the players, staff, chairman and fans come Sunday’s final whistle should the play-off adventure be set in stone.

Preston find themselves on the crest of a wave - a wave that has lasted three months.

Their run in League 1 has been nothing short of remarkable. Unbeaten in league competition since January 31, Simon Grayson’s side have fully earned the right to be at the sharp end of the table, having made a decent hash of things in the early proceedings.

Dons too though find themselves on the brink with a cracking run in the last two months, but have been there or thereabouts throughout the campaign, even snatching top spot for 24 hours on the very day Preston lost their last game.

The two sides who could have a say at both ends of the table on Sunday though as Yeovil and Colchester.

Although already destined for life in League 2, Yeovil could prove to be the party poopers for Dons. Of late, they’ve pinched points from play-off sides Sheffield United and Swindon Town and will be keen to rain on the potential parade at stadium:mk.

Meanwhile, Colchester are still scrapping for their League 1 survival and know a point against Preston at the Weston Homes Community Stadium could turn out to be vital in their bid to stay up, not just to spoil the party for Simon Grayson and his men.

But Preston’s fate, and with it Dons’ fate, is in their hands. Dons can do nothing but maintain the pressure, take an early lead and hope Colchester’s instinct for survival is greater than Preston’s desire to get out of the third tier of English football.

The connotations are simple: if Preston win, they’re up regardless of the score at stadium:mk. If they drop points, Dons must do better in order to steal their thunder, and their place in the Championship, at the last gasp.

Otherwise they’ll have to live by the words - somewhat altered - of Doris Day: Que sera sera, whatever will be, will be. It’ll have to be Wembley...