DONS ARE DOWN IN DUMPS AT HOME
MK DONS haven’t won a league game at home for over six months – and Karl Robinson admitted playing at Stadium MK is becoming increasingly difficult for his players.
The last time the Dons picked up a home win was against QPR in March of last season during their brief stint in the Championship.
And their winless run in league fixtures now stretches to nine games after this draw with Michael Appleton’s Oxford.
“I thought we were the better side against a top team like Oxford,” said Robinson.
“I don’t know what more we can do. The players do care and there is an appetite there, and we know the points tally isn’t where we want it to be but we have to work together and move forward.
“I think we had five good chances against a good side – we’re just struggling with one or two things that aren’t there at the moment.
“This place is becoming a difficult place to try and turn results around, and I think you can sense an anxiety creeping into the players but that’s just the nature of the industry.”
The hosts started brightly, however, and were the first to go close through Kieran Agard inside six minutes.
Dons’ record signing rounded Oxford goalkeeper Simon Eastwood inside the box before seeing his strike on goal superbly cleared off the goal line by Chey Dunkley.
But the visitors responded with a chance of their own minutes later when Wes Thomas met Liam Sercombe’s searching ball from the left inside the six-yard box, but saw his close-range shot well saved by Dons stopper David Martin. Appleton’s side called the MK goalkeeper into action again as the game approached the final stages when Sercombe found himself through on goal after some suspect defending from Paul Downing, but the midfielder’s attempted lob dipped just inches over the crossbar.
And the Dons could have snatched all three points at the death as Dean Bowditch met a searching ball at the back post only for his effort to drift agonisingly into the side netting.
“For whatever reason our away form hasn’t been great and MK Dons’ home form hasn’t been great either,” said Oxford boss Appleton.
“So I suppose a 0-0 was written in the stars before the game to be honest.
“It was an action-packed game but there weren’t many clear-cut chances from either side.
“We’ve got a good point against a side like MK Dons who were in the Championship last year and we were in League Two.
“So it’s a good positive for us to get a draw against a top side.
“But their goalkeeper was named man of the match so that probably tells you all you need to know about the game.”
THREAT: Dons midfielder Darren Potter heads at goal