Why Kieran Agard's doubters should re-evaluate
Kieran Agard scored his 10th of the season on Saturday, but the MK Dons front man's harshest critics continue to be his own supporters.
While one record - MK Dons' 10 game unbeaten streak in League 2 - came to an end on Saturday, Agard scored in his fifth consecutive game against Stevenage, rising above the Boro defence to head the visitors in front. Two late goals for Dino Maamria's side though would snatch victory from the jaws of defeat though.
Agard is Dons' form man, and his goal on Saturday was his 10th of the season, tying him with Chuks Aneke at the top of the Dons scoring charts. Not blessed with a deft first touch, Agard's strengths lie in the six yard box. A poacher, Agard has the canny ability to be in the right place at the right time - something which predecessor Nicky Maynard was half a yard lacking - to be on hand to sweep up from close range. He is also a finisher, with a solid one-on-one record when put through on goal. And his work rate, running the channels, has won over manager Paul Tisdale. The 29-year-old though continues to divide his own fanbase.
Signed by Karl Robinson in 2016 for a club record transfer fee from Bristol City, Agard was considered to be the potent, goal-scorer Dons fans had been crying out for since the departure of Will Grigg when his loan spell ended in 2015. But while goals were always a part of his game - scoring twice on his debut against Millwall - Agard has only scored 20+ once in a campaign. The out-and-out scorer fans expected was not what the club had signed, and has left many unjustly disappointed in him, perhaps blaming him for not living up to expectation.
There's no denying that Agard, along with the rest of the team, endured two difficult seasons in League 1. While he finished his first season as Dons' top scorer, the second season proved even harder. He did not score until mid-November, and just twice in 2018 prior to relegation, finishing with eight goals to his name. Aneke, top scorer last season, scored just two more.
Now on the hottest scoring streak of his career, Agard has Izale McLeod's six-games-in-a-row club record in his sights, as he is quickly climbing the all-time scorers list. And with Dons battling at the right end of the table again, the doubters and haters of Kieran Agard may need to re-evaluate.