Time for Dons to deliver

  • By: Nick Hext
  • Last Updated: August 5 2014, 10:03 BST

MK Dons are worth backing to win promotion from Sky Bet League 1 this season, according to our Nick Hext.

Karl Robinson can finally take MK Dons to promotion
Karl Robinson can finally take MK Dons to promotion

Wolves ended last season on top of Sky Bet League 1 with a magnificent 103-point haul, but there isn't an overwhelming candidate for the 2014/15 title.

Sheffield United are the favourites in the outright betting at 5/1 but I won't be rushing to back the Blades at that price.

Nigel Clough did a fine job last season to take the Blades to the fringes of the play-offs and the FA Cup semi-finals after replacing David Weir in October with the club deep in trouble at the wrong end of the table.

There have, though, been notable departures from the squad since the end of last term.

John Brayford and Conor Coady have returned to Cardiff and Liverpool respectively at the end of successful loan spells, while highly-rated defender Harry Maguire has moved up to the Premier League with Hull following a summer of speculation.

That leaves Clough with work to do to boost his squad and I also have a few concerns over where the goals will come from over the upcoming months.

Sheffield United will be in the mix but don't interest me as favourites.

I'm also not fully convinced by the merits of Bristol City, Preston, Peterborough and Leyton Orient as the next four clubs in the outright and promotion betting.

That means it's worth having a look a little further down the odds.

MK Dons are the club making appeal to me at 11/2 to finally make it out of League 1.

Karl Robinson's side are preparing for their seventh season in a row in the third tier of English football so there's nothing on the horizon to surprise them.

Former England international Alan Smith is one of the experienced players to have departed over the summer but I think the move to a younger squad will work in the Dons' favour. It certainly didn't do Wolves any harm last season.

Danny Green, Kyle McFadzean, Tom Hitchcock and Will Grigg have arrived at stadiummk during the off-season and all four players are really impressive acquisitions from Robinson.

A few more signings will also be made before the end of the transfer window and I like the look of the Dons despite Robinson's attempt to play down expectations.

"My ambition is for us to play well this season and to be successful, wherever that may be," Robinson told MK News ahead of the return to League 1 action.

"It's important that we enjoy the team that's playing.

"The players I'm bringing in will be here next year as well and if I can push this team to the limit they will compete if they can stay fit.

"For the first time I've got a chance to build from bottom to top and that's been exciting for the last six months."

The Dons finished last season away from the play-off picture but Robinson has taken stock early and fixed his side's problems.

He's been the man in charge at stadiummk since the summer of 2010 so his philosophy runs throughout the club and now is the time to make the step up.

Get with the 11/2 for MK Dons to finally win promotion.

Bradford are the other club I want to get with for the new season.

The Bantams didn't make too many headlines in their return to League 1 last term but still ended up comfortably away from trouble with a top-half finish to their name.

That followed on from the 2012/13 campaign when Phil Parkinson famously led Bradford to the Capital One Cup final and promotion from League 2.

Now the challenge is to push on again.

There has been a changeover in the Bradford squad over the summer. Some younger faces have been introduced to the ranks and that will see the Bantams go well again.

They are 12/1 to go up to the Championship but I'm more tempted by the 6/4 for another top-half finish.

There's a chance for Bradford to get amongst the promotion contenders but backing them to end up in the top 12 is a more tempting option for me.

  • Preview posted at 0825 BST on 05/08/2014.