MK Dons boss Neilson gearing up for ‘tough’ clash at Port Vale

MK Dons boss Robbie Neilson
MK Dons boss Robbie Neilson
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MK Dons boss Robbie Neilson is targeting three massive points in their quest to secure their Sky Bet League One safety when they travel to fellow strugglers Port Vale on Saturday (ko 3pm).

Dons travel to Vale Park six points better off than their fourth-from-bottom hosts, but the Valiants do still have a game in hand.

A win for MK and they are nine points clear of the drop zone with six games of the season remaining, lose and that gap could be down to three points, and they will be right in the relegation mix.

It is a big game for Dons, whose survival chances were boosted not only by their 1-0 win over rock-bottom Coventry City last Saturday, but also Vale’s 2-1 defeat to the same opposition at the Ricoh Arena on Tuesday night.

“We’re going up there to try and win the game,” said Neilson, when asked how he and his team are going to approach the clash at Vale Park.

“We want to try and get three points so that we can push up the league again.

“We picked up a good three points last week and if we can do the same this week then that will be a huge step towards (safety).

“It will be tough, though. Port Vale are fighting for their lives and they’ve got a couple of games in hand on teams around them, so they’ll still have that hope of getting themselves out of the relegation zone.”

Asked about Vale’s defeat to the Sky Blues, Neilson admitted it was a bonus.

“It helps, to be honest,” said the former Hearts boss.

“I was at the game and it was a tight match, but Coventry scored a couple of good goals.

“The result was in our favour, yes, but if we look ourselves we won’t need to worry about other teams.”

On the injury front, Neilson revealed that George Baldock should be fit for the trip to Burslem, while Nicky Maynard is back in training and ‘looking good at the moment’.