Looking at the league table is not a taboo topic for Payne

Mike Williamson and his coaches might not check, but Jack Payne does
Joe Tomlinson and Jack Payne celebrate the late winner against AccringtonJoe Tomlinson and Jack Payne celebrate the late winner against Accrington
Joe Tomlinson and Jack Payne celebrate the late winner against Accrington

Looking at the League Two table may be taboo for the MK Dons management team, but Jack Payne is not shy in admitting it is one of the first thing he checks after games.

With Dons sat sixth, three points off the automatic promotion spots following the 2-1 win over Accrington Stanley on Saturday, Payne feels results over the next couple of weeks, which will see Dons play four times in 11 days, could prove crucial in their hunt for automatic promotion.

The gap to AFC Wimbledon in the first spot outside the playoffs is now at five points ahead of Tuesday's trip to Valley Parade to take on Graham Alexander's Bradford City, with Payne admitting he is quick to check out the League Two results after games.

"I know the coaches say they don't look, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't," he admitted. "I naturally check results around us and where we are in the table. It does play a part in proceedings, and we've just got to climb the table.

"As much as we're looking ahead, we have to create a gap behind as well. There are so many good teams, and between now and the end of the season, there will be plenty of changes above and below. We've just got to focus on ourselves and pick up as many points as we can.

"We want to be higher, we want to climb the table. We know we've got a lot of games in the next two weeks, and we want to get as many points as we can.

"We know it's a massive game at Bradford on Tuesday, they got a good result at Wrexham, so it will be a tough place to go and hopefully we come out on top."