Dons aren't expecting an easy ride against Spennymoor

MK Dons

MK Dons

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Dons will be taking nothing for granted despite the four flights between themselves and FA Cup first round Spennymoor Town.

Without a win in 13 home matches, Dons will face no better opportunity to get the monkey off their backs than taking on the EvoStik Northern Premier side at Stadium MK on Saturday.

But the FA Cup has been known to throw up plenty of upsets down the years, and caretaker boss Richie Barker is well aware of the implications of defeat.

He said: “A lot of people are looking at this as a potential cup upset. We’ve not won at home for a long time, and they’ve done really well to get to this round.

“It won’t be easy. Six or seven of their players have played professionally and they’ll raise their game again when they come here – like everyone does. We’re not just playing Spennymoor, but we’re playing Spennymoor plus another 20 per cent.

“Some of the younger players probably aren’t familiar with some of the great cup upsets, like Hereford beating Newcastle or Sutton beating Coventry. For some of them, it’s just a game.

“In terms of a feel-good factor, a win is a win no matter who it’s against and that’s what we’re concentrating on.

“It’ll be the strongest team I can pick. I don’t want to disrespect the competition or the opposition, and it’s important to get that win at home.”

Samir Carruthers hobbled off against Sheffield United last Saturday and is set to miss the game, as is George Baldock, who picked up his fifth booking of the season at Bramall Lane and is suspended. Goalkeeper Lee Nicholls has played in all of Dons’ EFL Cup and Checktrade Trophy matches so far, and could replace David Martin between the sticks.