MK Dons: Nicky Maynard and Tommy Smith On Trial Following Dull Deadline Day

Though it has been a fairly positive start to the season for MK Dons, there is one concern that the fans have certainly picked up on, and now it seems boss Karl Robinson has too.

The lack of goals from new strikers Simon Church and Sam Gallagher has certainly left supporters feeling frustrated as they watch on from the stands, nervously awaiting the first goal from one of them, growing more and more irritated with them as it continues to evade them.

Finally, it seems Karl Robinson has picked up on that too, as it has been revealed that two forwards in Nicky Maynard and Tommy Smith are on trial with the club and are training with the first team squad.

So what could these two bring to the club if they are to be signed in the current window?

Maynard last played for Wigan Athletic (on loan from Cardiff City), where he scored just 4 goals in 16 appearances for the Greater Manchester side. A brace on his debut in a 3-0 win over Sheffield Wednesday could have been what Wigan were looking for, however only 2 goals followed in his next 15 appearances, and he returned to Cardiff where he was released at the end of the 2014-15 season.

His best goalscoring form came earlier on in his career, scoring 32 times in 59 games for Crewe Alexandra and 45 in 124 games for Bristol City. Based on this record, there seems no doubt that Maynard has the ability to score a lot of goals, however what Dons fans may be wondering is if he can do it quickly for them, in a time where they need to start scoring more goals. There was one other spell in his career, scoring twice in 14 games during West Ham’s 2011-12 Championship campaign.

The other man the Dons are looking at is 35 year old Tommy Smith. His scoring record may not be as prolific as Maynard’s, but the work ethic and experience he could bring to a relatively young team could be a huge benefit to the club. He’s able to play on the right wing as well as up top, giving more options.

It’s often said that he likes to be part of teams that play a passing style of football, something which MK are now becoming known for, and he has a brilliant weak-foot ability as well, something that neither Church or Gallagher have shown so far.

He last played for Brentford under Mark Warburton during the 2014-15 season where he managed just 1 goal in 28 appearances for the West Londoner’s, and again just scored 1 goal during a 2 year stint at Cardiff City prior to that. Between 2010 and 2012 he amassed 50 appearances for QPR where he managed 8 goals, some of which coming in the top flight at QPR secured promotion to the Premier League in his first season.

His best stints came at Watford, where he also started his career as a youth player. The first one after coming out of the youth team he managed 33 goals in 149 appearances, and two transfers later (to Sunderland and then to Derby), he returned to Watford where he managed a further 27 goals in another 124 appearances.

From their records, it’s clear that both of these players can score goals, which is something the Dons will need this coming month with 5 extremely tough fixtures staring at them. In the long term, they also have Tom Hitchcock and Kabongo Tshimanga out on loan at Stevenage and Corby respectively. If Robinson could secure even just one of these players, it could turn out to be a brilliant investment getting them on a free transfer.