FOR those who weren’t there on Tuesday night, for a while, it looked as though Dons’ Carling Cup run would be all done and dusted for another year after just half an hour.
But the dominant second half performance saw Robbo’s men comfortably through into the hat for the second round draw, writes Toby Lock.
But it now means that with the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy draw, Dons will be playing Saturday-Tuesday throughout August.
Last season, I think Dons ended up playing nine games in 20-odd days at the beginning of the season thanks to cup runs, with the players visibly exhausted by the time the run came to an end.
And not only that, but their form dropped too.
So it is really necessary that Football League sides need so many cup competitions this early in the season?
If the FA Cup can be organised, for League clubs, to take place between November and May, why is it that Dons need three cup games in August?
I can understand that fixture congestion is a pain in the bum for managers, particularly at the stage of the season when their players are just getting back to full fitness after the summer off.
The bigger sides in the Carling Cup come in at the second round are seeded so that Dons are now more likely to get a semi-decent draw (no disrespect to the people at Cheltenham) but other than it being a potential pay-day for the club or a new ground for the fans to travel to, is a League Cup run really that necessary?
Let’s be right, Dons aren’t going to win it. Even if they do manage to get into the third round, they could face Premier League club after Premier League club for six matches before they get to lift the trophy, and I just can’t see that happening.
And before anyone questions the validity of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy – it’s a tournament that should be held dear by Dons fans as one of the most important days in the club’s history, so that can stay (for now).
The Carling Cup is also another distraction away from what is the most important mission for the football club this season – getting out of League 1.
So while I hope it’s a great draw for the second round and that it’s a Premier League club we get to see, at the back of my mind I’ll be wondering whether it’s all really worth it.