Karl Robinson has challenged Benik Afobe to beat Patrick Bamford’s scoring record as the on-loan Arsenal man hit his 14th and 15th of the season in the 4-3 win over Port Vale on Saturday.
Bamford, prior to leaving the club last January, scored 17 times in a prolific start to the campaign, but with Afobe already hot on his heels, it could leave some fans asking ‘Patrick who?’
Afobe cancelled out a Jordan Spence own goal, before Carl Baker fired Dons ahead just before the break. Dany N’Guessan equalised on the stroke of half time, before Afobe’s second came from the penalty spot. He then turned provider for Danny Green to score on his return to first team action, though N’Guessan again bundled over his second to make for a nervy finish at Vale Park.
Robinson though believes once Afobe equals Bamford’s record, then the comparisons between the two will be fair.
“I set him Patrick’s target by Christmas,” Robinson said. “He got 17 goals, and if Benik gets that, then the stats will speak for themselves. His all-round play was very good.”
Robinson made five changes to the starting 11, including leaving out talismanic midfielder Dele Alli, but it didn’t seem to affect Dons all that much, particularly going forward as they looked a threat from the off, despite finding themselves behind after 10 minutes.
Robinson said: “It was an awful lot of changes to have made, and we’ve only had that defence together for two days. But going forward, in the first half, I couldn’t work out how we were 1-0 down. I thought we were excellent.
“It was a really good win.
“At half time, we said if they played the same again, they’d win the game.
We should have had a penalty, we scored an own goal and their third goal was handball. It’s disappointing, but the way we performed, it should have been much easier for us.”