Karl Robinson has stressed the importance of tomorrow’s game against Scunthorpe United, as his side look to keep their play-off hopes alive.
The Dons are four points adrift of the top six heading into this weekend and realistically they need a victory to remain in with a chance of finishing above rivals Swindon Town, who currently occupy the final play-off spot.
With their fate out of their hands, Robinson’s men know that if Swindon were to take three points from Stevenage on Saturday afternoon then their play-off hopes would be over, regardless of their own result, but Robinson insists that his team must remain focused on their own task, which is to beat Scunthorpe United at stadiummk in the team’s final home match of the regular season.
Speaking ahead of the game, the 32-year-old manager said: “It is (an important game). We’ve put ourselves in a position to still be competitive which is a remarkable achievement considering the winter that we had.
“We’re on target to reach 73 points which would be fantastic. To achieve over 70 points consistently for three seasons and to be competitive in them years as well is a tough ask, given where we are in terms of our budget, which is a major factor
“I feel the Football Club can be proud of what it’s achieved over the past three years and so I’m desperate to get the victory for both the team and the fans as well. They deserve a good send off, one that will leave them feeling proud of their team.
“I’ll be constantly updated with what’s going on in the Swindon game but we won’t put it across to the players as they’ve got a job to do regardless of what’s going on elsewhere. The important thing is that we win our game and so we can’t worry too much what goes on outside of this stadium.
“If we win and results still don’t go our way elsewhere then so be it, because all I want is for us to win our game on Saturday. We’ve got to concentrate on what we want to do because I’d be very disappointed if we didn’t get anything out of this game.”
However, it’s not only the Dons’ fate that could be decided come 5pm on Saturday afternoon as their opponents Scunthorpe United may well find out whether or not they will be playing League 1 football next season.
The Iron are in a precarious position down at the bottom of the table and the Yorkshire side could be relegated if they fail to win tomorrow, something Dons boss Robinson admits will leave a bitter taste in his mouth if his side were to come out on top.
“Scunthorpe United will be tough opposition tomorrow because if they lose or fail to win then they’re relegated and although that will leave a bitter taste in my mouth, we’ve got a professional job to do.
“I’ve got tremendous respect for Brian Laws and his team as well as their supporters for sticking with their team through both promotions and relegations. But it’s all set up for a great game of football as both teams will have a lot to play for.”
And finally Robinson, whose side will embark on a lap of appreciation following the match tomorrow, was keen to invite fans to stay behind after the final whistle order for the players to give thanks for the support given to them over the course of the season.
“We want to take the opportunity tomorrow to say thank you to the fans so we ask that they stay behind to allow us to do that. We want to show our appreciation for everything they’ve done for us this year and it will mean an awful lot to us if the majority of them will remain in their seats after the whistle.
"Hopefully it will be a nice occasion where we can say goodbye, although hopefully we’ll see some of them at Stevenage next week. We appreciate that some people will have other commitments but in the main, we’d like as many people as possible to stay behind so that they can say thank you.”