Managers "can't believe" Dons are in a relegation battle

MK Dons boss Dan Micciche with Charlton manager Karl Robinson
MK Dons boss Dan Micciche with Charlton manager Karl Robinson

Dan Micciche says opposition managers have asked him how MK Dons are deep in a League 1 relegaiton battle.

Micciche has lost all five of his games in charge since taking over from Robbie Neilson last month, with Dons now six points from League 1 safety.

Their latest defeat, a 2-1 beating at home to Charlton Athletic, extends their losing streak to six in all competitions, only adding to the misery around Stadium MK.

Speaking afterwards, Micciche said other teams, including Charlton boss and former MK Dons manager Karl Robinson, are surprised to see Dons where they are in the table.

"I'm sure Karl is saying we're a good side," said Micciche. "For him to change his formation today to match us echoes that. Every manager I've come up against has said "I can't believe you're in this position."

"They readjusted their midfield to match us, which is a compliment, but they outnumbered us and we didn't defend with enough intensity.

"We've not really been opened up. We've just not had enough quality in the final third."

Despite having the better of the early stages on Saturday, a silly mistake in not clearing their lines gifted Charlton the lead on 10 minutes through Ahmed Kashi. Dons didn't register a shot in the first half, and had only one - a tame Callum Brittain effort - before Josh Magennis headed Robinson's side 2-0 up on the hour mark.

Kieran Agard reduced the arrears two minutes later, but despite seeing more of the ball, Dons struggled to test keeper Ben Amos on their way to another defeat.

Micciche added: "We came up against a good side, and you can see why they're up there. We're missing a lot of players through injury, but we have players who should need to take their opportunities.We started and ended well, but in the middle, Charlton were the better team.

"I wasn't happy with that at half time and the fans were right to be frustrated.

"The first goal was frustrating but the second was against the run of play really. We showed character after that, the fans got behind us but we couldn't get that equaliser.

"We've not had a lot of chances today but we've had enough to get something from the game today."