Karl Robinson believes his players responded in superb fashion to the question marks raised last weekend with their 4-1 win over Stevenage at stadiummk.
The Dons suffered their first League defeat of the campaign away at nine-man Peterborough United last Saturday but returned to winning ways with an emphatic victory over Stevenage thanks to goals from Patrick Bamford, Dele Alli and Shaun Williams.
The result saw the men from MK1 climb back into the play-off places on goal difference and extend their unbeaten run at home to six games and their manager Robinson was delighted with how comfortable an afternoon it was for his players.
Speaking after the game, the 33-year-old said: “There were question marks over last week and I’ve spoken about how we will respond and there you go. I know my players and I know this Club and I know it times of adversity we’ll come back fighting.
“The way we moved the ball around in that first half was sensational. In the first five or ten minutes it was a cat and mouse game so we changed one or two things in our system after ten minutes and ultimately it resulted in us getting the victory, in the end, very comfortably.
“I know the headlines are going to be about a certain Mr. Alli but the rest of the team deserve a mention. I thought Green set the tone in the first five minutes; it was his best performance in an MK Dons shirt. The back four also defended magnificently well and it was a good team performance.
“I also thought that was the best I’ve ever heard our fans outside of what you’d call a ‘big’ game. Every player coming off said how good they were and I even clapped them while the game was still going on.
“They were great for us today, they were getting behind us and spurring us on and they responded when he conceded with their ‘MK Army’ chant. They were excellent.”
As mentioned by Robinson, the two players who will steal the headlines this weekend are duo Bamford and Alli who, combined, contributed to all four of the Dons’ goals. Alli’s strike to make it 3-0 was his first career League goal while Bamford’s brace meant he continued his record of scoring in every home match this season.
It was no surprise, then, when Robinson praised the two players and, in particular, their work behind the scenes, on the training pitches. He added: “(Bamford) will only get better. He’s still got to work on one or two things and that’s why he came over to us after his first goal because his heading isn’t one of his strong points.
“There are obviously weaknesses in his game because of his age but he wants to know what they are and he wants to work on them. In any business you’re in, if you’ve got a weakness and you want to work on it, you’ll only get better. He’s a tremendous talent and his parents can be so proud of him for the way he is as a kid as well. He’s a pleasure to work with every day.
“I’ve seen Dele do things in training which I’ve never seen before so I wasn’t surprised by his goal. He’s only 17 and he’s winning penalties, scoring goals, back heeling passes, nut mugging people, winning tackles and headers.
“He’s one of the best young English players in the country, that’s my stance. I know how good he is because I work with him every day. He’s about to go away with England Under-18s so we’re going to miss him for a few games but he’s someone whose just going from strength to strength.”
With all the positives coming out of today, Robinson could be forgiven for getting carried away but the Liverpudlian is remaining grounded and insists his players will continue to take it one game at a time.
“We’re not going to get involved in chasing teams or trying to compete with teams, we’re going to look at every game as it comes.
“I said at the top of the season, after being limited in terms of what we could do in the summer, for this team to stay in the top half of the table this year it will be an achievement and to be fair to the players, they keep producing and surpassing my expectations. I’m very proud of the whole Football Club.
“We now go away to Gillingham to see our old friend Martin. It’ll be another interesting test and I’m looking forward to it. We also go to Hungerford Town away on Tuesday and we’ll be taking a strong team so try and get down and support us if you can.”