Karl Robinson labelled Tuesday’s victory over top-of-the-table Doncaster Rovers as ‘almost the perfect night’, as his side move to within ten points of the play-offs.
.mkstadiumGoals from Izale McLeod, Daniel Powell and the returning Stephen Gleeson saw the Dons, who still have two games in hand, pick up their first League win since New Year’s Day, in what was a memorable evening of football at
McLeod, netting his first goal since re-joining the Club in January, put the men from MK1 ahead in the contest before Powell added a second in the 56th minute, hours after agreeing a new two-year deal which keeps him with the Dons until 2015. The night was then capped off by a wonder strike from Gleeson, who was making his first appearance since breaking his foot in mid-December.
After the game, a delighted Robinson spoke to the media and the 32-year-old was quick to praise his three goal-scoring heroes.
The Liverpudlian said: “It was almost the perfect night - that was us at our best. I was able to put out the front four that I’ve wanted to put out all season and I thought the back four did really well as well.
“We’re still without Jon Otsemobor, David Martin, Alan Smith, Patrick Bamford and Stephen Gleeson and Luke Chadwick only played a small part in the game so there’s an awful lot of players still out but those on the pitch today put a really strong performance in.
“I think everybody’s dreams came true tonight, though. Izale scored his first goal since coming back, Daniel Powell signs a two-year deal and then tops it off with a wonder goal and then Stephen Gleeson, on his comeback, scores the last goal. It’s important, though, to see them players score because they’re the ones who’ve really needed it over the last couple of months.
“I wasn’t even going to play Stephen but I changed my mind because I just think the world of him and I know how good a footballer he is.
Before his injury, I was asking him to score more goals and he’s delivered tonight with another fantastic strike. The boy has really, really impressed me this year. The way the players celebrated with him just showed how much they care, because they know how hard it’s been for him for the last three months.”
This evening’s result sees the Dons move back into the top half of the table, and with 12 games still to go, all is still to play for as Robinson’s men try and achieve their aim of reaching the play-offs come the end of the season.
And the Football League’s youngest manager hopes that the victory over the Rovers can turn out to be a catalyst for the Dons, who now boast a five-game unbeaten run in the League.
“I thought the place was rocking this evening. I want to say another big thank you to the fans. Hopefully that win tonight can be the catalyst for bigger and better things.
“If you look back, we beat Sheffield United when they were top, we beat Tranmere Rovers when they were top and now we’ve beaten Doncaster Rovers while they’re top of the League. That just shows the quality that we’ve got in our team.
“I felt we could have been two or three goals up in the first half but overall it was a good night for the fans, a good night for those players who had been out for a long time and it hopefully it’ll collectively grab the group and kick-start us for the rest of the year.
“We’ve only had four defeats in this calendar year, we’ve just drawn too many games. We need to start turning them draws into wins though and tonight we did that.”
The victory, though, was slightly marred by injuries to Dean Bowditch and Luke Chadwick, the latter coming after just 37 minutes, but Robinson is hopeful that the two knocks won’t be too serious although confirmed that they will both be doubts for Saturday.
“Chaddy came off with a bit of a groin problem but hopefully, because we took him off early, he’ll be okay. Dean also felt something in his groin so he’ll be a doubt for Saturday, along with Chaddy.”