We’ve got to keep pushing - Robbo

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Dons will continue to push for automatic promotion after they secured their spot in the play-offs with a 0-0 draw at Port Vale.

With 16 points now separating Dons and Rochdale in seventh place, Dons are assured a top six spot at least with five games remaining.

I want to finish third if we can’t finish second.

Karl Robinson

But even though their season will go on into May, Dons boss Karl Robinson admits his side cannot afford to slip up in the closing stages.

“There’s still 15 points to play for,” he said. “If we can get above 85 points, that historically has been enough. We set a target. If Preston surpass that you’ll have to shake their hands. But we’ll push them all the way.

“I want to finish third if we can’t finish second.”

The draw with Vale was hardly a celebration of securing a play-off spot though. On a pitch uncut for over a week, bobbles played havoc for both sides as neither could control the ball and chances were few and far between.

But for Robinson, his side weren’t worthy of all three points.

He said: “There’s two ways of looking at it: it’s not great in that we’ve not played well. But on a positive note, we don’t know how important that point might be for us at the end of the season.

“But it’s another clean sheet and we’re undefeated in six games. Overall, if anyone was to offer us four wins and two draws in the last six, we’d take it.

“The players need to realise they’ve not played well, but we need to make sure we get it right before Tuesday.

“Vale have seen this as a very good point. The grass hasn’t been cut in seven days, it was very dry, and it bobbled up to the knee. But we haven’t been able to play as cute as we wanted to, but we have to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

“We’ve all seen us lose these games in years gone by, so it shows the maturity of the side. I know people want us to go for the win, but we can’t afford to lose.

“We know Preston have drawn and Swindon have won so it brings them back into the race. We have the players to finish this game in the best way we can.

“We worked hard, but every pass and control came away from us. Sometimes we have them. But we haven’t been beaten.

“Sometimes you have to wash your hands of games. A point is probably the right result, we didn’t do enough to win today.”

Joe Walsh stepped in at the 11th hour to replace injured Dean Lewington at left back. In only his second appearance for the club, Walsh dealt well with the late call playing out of position.

Robinson said: “He’s a centre half, and found himself at left back having not kicked a competitive ball for a month. He dealt well with one-on-one situations, he defended well and negated their strengths really well.

“To lose Lewie was a big loss for us. We had to bring Joe Walsh in, but it meant with six loans, we had to take Devante Cole off the bench.”