Karl Robinson has dismissed criticism of his squad rotation policy.
Some fans have been critical of the Dons manager’s team selections of late, coinciding with their recent bad patch of form which has seen the club slip from second to fourth in League 1.
But with Dons looking set for a play-off spot at the very least come the end of the season, having missed out on the top six in the least two campaigns, Robinson is sticking by his policy.
When asked what he thought of fans view on rotation, he said: “Tough. Were they saying that when we went top?
“We have players at the top end of the pitch that have, historically, been injured from 70-90 minutes, or in the second game in succession.
“Dean Bowditch, Daniel Powell and Ben Reeves have all had long-term injuries in the last two seasons through over-playing.
“Carl Baker has had a dip in form because he played the last seven games. In the last three he hasn’t been good enough, and he knows that. And the same for Jordan Spence. Darren Potter in the last three or four weeks will openly admit he hasn’t been at it either.
“Why is it a problem when we’re in the top four, when we didn’t do it for the last two years and didn’t make the play-offs? You watch the top teams in the world do it.”
One player who Robinson believes has been able to play more recently as a result of his rotation policy is Dean Bowditch.
Having suffered injury problems throughout his tenure at stadium:mk, Bowditch has worked his way back into the starting line-up recently, teeing up Will Grigg to score on Saturday against Walsall, and doing so himself in the win over Oldham on Tuesday night.
However, he was withdrawn early at Boundary Park in a bid to prevent long term injury in the vital run in.
Robinson said: “Bowditch has had a few groin issues which stiffened up in the week. It’s not a case of precaution, but a case of managing his body. He’s so influential for us. When he plays, he’s in my starting 11. I don’t want to risk being without him.
“Hopefully in forthcoming games, we can manage that and be as strong as we can be.”