Chelsea clash will add to Robinson’s Dons memories

MK Dons manager Karl Robinson during the Sky Bet Championship match between Bolton Wanderers and Milton Keynes Dons at the Macron Stadium, Bolton, England on 23 January 2016. Photo by Simon Davies. PSI-1453-0016

MK Dons manager Karl Robinson during the Sky Bet Championship match between Bolton Wanderers and Milton Keynes Dons at the Macron Stadium, Bolton, England on 23 January 2016. Photo by Simon Davies. PSI-1453-0016

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Taking on Chelsea ranks among some of the top moments in MK Dons history says manager Karl Robinson.

The 35-year-old has overseen victories in the fierce match against AFC Wimbledon and against Manchester United, while also guiding his side to promotion out of League 1 to the Championship.

Sunday’s game against the Premier League champions will once again see stadium:mk sold out an what will surely be another memorable day at MK1.

“If we can have two successful seasons, playing Manchester United and getting promotion, and then playing Chelsea and staying up, I would look at it as complete success,” said Robinson.

“In terms of importance, the biggest is still the AFC Wimbledon game and it showed our class. QPR away was a big one. And the Stockport game too, when we got promoted. There are a lot of proud moments. But I want us to go and enjoy it. There’s pressure because we want to win it.

“We want the fans to enjoy this game, sing your hearts out watching some of the best footballers we’ve seen.

“We never thought we’d see Diego Costa, Cesc Fabregas, John Terry - these greats of English football playing here.”

Playing in the fourth round of the FA Cup against Chelsea in front of around 28,000 fans will bring in a healthy sum of money to the Championship side - a far cry from the millions Chelsea have at their disposal.

Robinson has been trying to scrimp and save during this transfer window, offloading five players in a bid to open up room in his budget to improve his starting 11.

And the extra money brought in by this lucrative game will go a long way to helping Robinson manoeuvre himself in the market.

He said: “This is extra money we didn’t expect to have. It’s an opportunity to do something we didn’t think we could do. There will be outgoings, because of the cost of putting on these games, but it aids other things.

“But there’s no point in going into the market and just doing something for the sake of it. It’s got to be right. And if it is, it’ll give us a tremendous lift towards the end of the season.”

More importantly for Robinson though is the potential to encourage more fans to stadium:mk.

“It has givens us something to focus on and to galvanise us,” he said. “It’s hard being down the bottom. We’ve done a good job of hiding it. We’re disappointed, obviously, to be where we are.

“If we get beat, we get beat. We’ll have a right good go. The magic of the FA Cup has once again shone on a Football League club.

“I grew up in a city where football was a driving force, and I want to bring that to Milton Keynes. It’s a lovely place to bring up a family, but at some stage we want football to be a driving force in the community.

“Nights like Manchester United, AFC Wimbledon and promotion here are some of the most amazing times I’ve had on that touchline. It’s now another chapter.

“People tell us we’ve got no history - we’ll we’ve been trying to write one in the last six years. I’ve got the stress lines to show it. It’s a wonderful opportunity to play the biggest names in the game.”

“But we’re reaping the rewards now because the fans have given us everything. We’re sitting outside the relegation zone, a good points tally, and now we’ve got Chelsea.”