Mark Robins heaped praise on his side’s determination and guts during this week’s press conference at Glanford Park.Previewing the clash with promotion hopefuls MK Dons on Tuesday, Robins believes the only thing missing from the performance against Bristol City was the result, and that they gave a great account of themselves in difficult circumstances.
Robins told The Iron Player: “I’m pleased with the players full stop; I think they’ve been working their socks off.
"I’ve said every time if anyone comes in and gives all that they have got, I can’t ask for any more than that. The supporters have bought into that and they are right behind the players.
"You can see that they care; you can see that they appreciate the players working their socks off, and that’s a great start in life.
"We’ve got some real quality in there as well, and I know MK Dons will be coming here on Tuesday expecting to turn us over, and in that sense we’ll probably be underdog’s for the game, not in my eyes however. I think we’ve got to go out there, have a real go at it, and I think we’ve got a good chance.
"We are in a decent run of games, we’ve played pretty well up to date, and it was just a shame we didn’t get anything from the game against Bristol City.
"Those are the breaks, when you have a side that are top of the league it’s almost as if they expect to win, and you get into a rhythm and a routine.
"The rhythm for us is just starting, we’ve got that momentum there and it will be maintained, that was just one set back.
"We’ve worked really hard to wrestle that back and we’ve got the opportunity to it against one of the sides that will be going for one of the automatic promotion places this season.”
Looking at MK Dons as a team, Robins believes opposing manager Karl Robinson has the best squad he’s ever had at his disposal, and that he admires some of the qualities the Dons have on show.
“Karl’s had the best squad he’s ever had since he’s been in that job, and that’s me quoting him," he stated.
"I have to say when I’ve seen them they’ve been very good, and they’ve tried to play the game in the right way.
"They have some good players in there, Dele Alli has been a real talent at only 18 years of age, and he’s a goal scorer from the middle of the park.
"I’ve said it before that I like Will Grigg, he adds quite a bit up front for them and to the dimensions of the team, and obviously there’s Devante Cole and Jonson Clarke-Harris who have come in from their respective clubs, which adds to their fire power. Back to front they are very, very good, and very competent at this level.”
The Buckinghamshire club have bulked up their attack in preparation for the trip to North Lincolnshire, but Robins insists his players have been clued up for the occasion.
Robins added: “We need to be good. We know what we need to do, and now we need to go out there and carry it out, and believe we can give them the fright of their lives.
"They’ll know before they come that we are capable of giving them a good game, and they’ll certainly know after.”
With no new fresh injury concerns, Robins has plenty to players to choose from while on the side of the pitch on Tuesday, but the same can’t be said for opposition boss Robinson, who is serving a touchline ban, but Robins refuted claims that it will prove a major advantage on the night.
Robins explained: “I don’t think it’ll make too much of a difference.
"I think they’ve got other members of staff there that can step in to the breach, and they’ll have Karl watching on from a decent vantage point, I mean something’s got to be said for the vantage point!
"I don’t think it’ll have an impact, they’ll play the way they play, they train the way they play and they train the way they train, and those two come in hand in hand.
"They’ve been doing it for a long time now as Karl’s been there for five or six years, so I don’t think it’ll have too much of a detrimental impact.”
With League One being the only competition the Iron are left in after exit from the FA Cup to Chesterfield, and Robins is hoping it can provide the focus to continue the side's impressive form, as long as the weather doesn’t have a say again.
Robins said: “There’s supposed to be snow due on Friday so let’s see what happens there!
"I’m hoping the trip down to Leyton Orient will be okay as the snow's due for Friday and the weekend so let’s just be hopeful that there are no more games postponed or we’ll end up playing Tuesday’s then Saturday’s, or even worse, Tuesday’s, Thursday’s and Saturday’s!
"At the end of the day it is what it is, and we play the games when we are told more or less.
"We are already on a good run, regardless of what happened last week.
"That doesn’t stop, they are training well, there is belief amongst the players, they were very disappointed with the result last week but they know they can keep their heads up because their performance levels were decent.
"The last little bits we can improve on, but the same energy, the same performance and the same commitment and desire stands everybody in good stead, because if you can do that and play that way, you’re going to win more games.”
With the Iron only a few points short of the play-offs, with four games in hand over some of their division rivals, Robins once again reigns in the runaway train of thought, and insists everyone stays calm and focused.
Robins added: “I think we just have to take it a game at a time.
"It’s an old cliché, and that isn’t me protecting me or protecting the players, that’s just realistic; you’ve got to be realistic.
"When looking at where we were when I took over to where we are now, we’ve still got 23 games to play, that’s half a season.
"hat is a massive amount of demand, so we aren’t going to be training too much, we'll be resting in between games and getting those energy levels back.
"We’ve had a breather and they’ve had some training in the meantime, and we’ve got to a stage now where they are looking fresh and we are going to go out and deliver the performances.
"When you aren’t playing games you start to get caught up by the other teams, we have four games in hand on most of them, but we need to make sure we pick points up.”
See much more from Mark Robins on The Iron Player.