The MK Dons View: lack of firepower

mk donsMK Dons’ return to the third tier was confirmed after a 4-1 defeat to Brentford on Saturday. What has gone wrong this season? Who have been the few players to come out of the season with some credit? And where does the club need to strengthen this summer? Discussing these issues and more is supporter James Poultney, who is part of YouTube cannel MK Dons Fan TV, which you can follow on Twitter @MKDonsFanTV.

Relegation to League One is sealed for MK Dons. What do you feel has been the main problem this season?

A lack of clinical finishing, losing the likes of Dele Alli, Benik Afobe and Will Grigg has proved costly. A mere 38 goals have been scored compared to the 100 plus goals last season. Although the championship is always going to be much harder, many fans would have liked to see more goals scored. The injuries of David Martin (our first-choice keeper) has meant that we’ve only kept one clean sheet in his absence.

You lost the services of Dele Alli and Will Grigg in the summer. Should the club have spent more money to replace those key performers?

The club should have invested more money into the squad as well as the new training ground they’ve paid for. We needed to replace the likes of Grigg and Afobe with consistent goal scorers. Nicky Maynard has netted only 6 goals with Alex Revell coming in as a January loanee signing scoring 2 goals in 9 games.

Goalkeeper David Martin is out for the rest of the season due to injury and Cody Cropper got sent off against Preston. Did Charlie Burns show enough in the 0-0 draw at Hillsborough to merit more first team opportunities?

Charlie Burns had a great game and contributed enormously to holding on to a 0-0 draw. He is showing a lot of promise but due to his young age I’d be concerned with consistency if he was merited more fist-team opportunities. As we are facing relegation and Cropper has failed to keep a clean sheet all season, we might as well give him more appearances because we have nothing to lose!

A lot of fans believe Dean Lewington to be the team’s best player. Do you share that view?

I admire his loyalty to the club and his consistent performances, but for me Martin has been our best player pulling off some great saves keeping us in matches. Our best loan signings have been Jonny Williams as for me it is a joy to watch his work rate and talent and Josh Murphy who has been our top goalscorer with 7 goals.

Samir Carruthers seems to have shown flashes of creativity this season. Do you think he will do well in League One?

In my opinion, he has shown inconsistencies in the championship but he has shown flashes of creativity which may be useful in league one.

You are the lowest scorers in the Championship with no player netting more than five league goals. Would a clinical striker have made a difference?

A clinical striker would have definitely made a difference, looking back at the 1-1 draws against Middlesbourogh, Hull and Huddersfield highlights this issue. Even with our fault of conceding ‘easy goals’, another clinical finisher may have given us 3 points that we lost on several occasions conceding opposition goals late on.

And finally, what are the changes needed in the summer for the club to launch an instant promotion push? Where do you need to strengthen and is Karl Robinson the right man?

We need to strengthen our strike force, we are missing that clinical edge with the loss of Grigg in particular – he’s scoring goals for ‘fun’ at Wigan! I also think that Robinson has made a mistake with playing the 4-2-3-1 formation the majority of the time – the 4-4-2 formation that proved successful against Middlesborough should have been experimented with more frequently. If the club decides to invest in the squad with the Alli money (5 mil) then we should be serious contenders for a promotion spot.