The MK Dons Improvement Continues

Having not won a game away from home in the league since the opening day of the season, travelling MK Dons fans haven’t had much to cheer about in recent times. That changed today, however, as a late free-kick from Brighton loanee Jake Forster-Caskey curled past Scott Carson to finally give the travelling fans the win they deserved.

It was hardly a fluke either. Karl Robinson’s side have looked revitalised in recent weeks, having fought out a 0-0 draw away at Cardiff in their first game of the month, and last Tuesday almost got a 1-0 win over high-flying Middlesbrough, but were denied by Jordan Rhodes’ late header.

One of the key factors in this turn of fortune has been the form of goalkeeper David Martin. He produced two stunning saves in the FA Cup loss to Chelsea, firstly denying Diego Costa from point-blank range and then tipping Eden Hazard’s shot onto the post. Then in the stalemate at Cardiff he kept out Stuart O’Keefe on numerous occasions and brilliantly tipped over a Scott Malone effort. And finally, last Tuesday against Middlesbrough he seemed confident throughout the game and also did well to keep out Gaston Ramirez’s shot.

Elsewhere on the pitch, Samir Carruthers and Jake Forster-Caskey have been excellent in the last few games. They were two of the few players who could come off the pitch with any credibility in the 5-1 loss to Chelsea and have been just as solid in the league games since. Carruthers has been instrumental in the Dons’ recent attacking play, getting forward quickly to spread the ball wide to the wingers or forward to the striker.

Forster-Caskey seems to have got better every game since his return on loan from Brighton but has really hit his purple patch in the last month. His ability to break up play has improved drastically and his partnership with Darren Potter is improving more every game. Attacking wise too he is improving, showing off a range of passing that is needed from a defensive midfielder, and needed in a team that probably needs to consider changing their game a little.

It seems Karl Robinson has really thought about the new signings coming in, and not just spent money for the sake of it. With the players improving, the new signings coming in and the teams around them still struggling to perform, survival has never seemed so close.