HEAD-TO-HEAD: Dons must not overlook Rochdale threat

Robbie Neilson
Robbie Neilson

With high profile games on the horizon, MK Dons manager Robbie Neilson says his players cannot afford to overlook Rochdale this Saturday.

Dons make their first trip to the Kingsmeadow Stadium next Tuesday in a highly-anticipated game, but Rochdale stand between as they visit Stadium MK on Saturday.

And while the fans will likely be more focused on Tuesday night, Neilson insists his team can only have eyes for Rochdale.

He said: "We have to make sure we're focused on Saturday first. It's a big game for us, three points at home, we want to continue to do well here and then hopefully we can move on to the two big games next week.

"The fans can look ahead to these games, but our focus has to be game to game. The Rochdale game is the most important for us. I'll put out the strongest team to try and win it."

Charlton’s 2-1 midweek win over Scunthorpe saw Dons drop to 15th on Tuesday night as the middle pack battles to reach the first page of the league table.

Rochdale currently occupy that last place in the top half, but themselves dropped to 12th on Tuesday after Walsall’s 1-0 win over lowly Chesterfield.

While Dons lost at Millwall last time out, Dale head to Stadium MK in torrid form.

Despite coming into 2017 with six wins in a row, Keith Hill’s side haven’t picked up a victory since January 7, drawing four and losing five times.

And Dons had the edge over them when the sides last met. In a closely fought affair at Spotlands back in August, Scott Wootton scored the only goal at the game at the very death as Dons secured all three points.

"They've had a good season," Neilson added. "They've got some good attacking options, they change their shape a lot and their personel a lot as well which makes it hard to predict what they're going to do.

"We're expecting to get three points here, they'll know they're in for a tough game here, so they might change again."

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