Robbo eyes another magical FA Cup run

Dons celebrate Shaun Williams' goal against Walsall
Dons celebrate Shaun Williams' goal against Walsall

It might not live up to the historic run of last season, but Karl Robinson wants MK Dons to go on another memorable FA Cup run this time around.

Dons play host to Halifax Town on Saturday in the first round of the world-famous tournament.

Few could have predicted the trials and tribulations the 2012-13 FA Cup campaign would throw at MK Dons.

From the 0-0 draw at Cambridge City, to the AFC Wimbledon clash in the second round, the comprehensive victory over Sheffield Wednesday and the astonishing 4-0 lead they took at Loftus Road against Queens Park Rangers - the campaign had it all in seven matches.

Robinson admitted after missing out on the play-offs last season though that the Cup run had a profound effect on his side, and contributed to their league slump after Christmas.

This time around though, he’s still keen for another FA Cup adventure.

“We’ve had tremendous FA Cup runs and it’s something I want to do again,” he said.

“We played seven games in the competition last year – most in our division play one or two.

“It had a big effect on us but it hasn’t dampened our love for the competition.

“At the end of a season, we can all look for reasons why we lost a certain game.

“It’s difficult to go from the highs of playing a Premier League club at a packed stadium to going to an away game in the league in front of 2,000 people.

“It’s an immediate up and a down, and you need a strong mental capacity to deal with that.

“It was an amazing rollercoaster. That cup run is something that will live with me forever. The QPR game, the Wimbledon game. It was just incredible. There were moments I will never forget.

“I will never forget the reaction when we found out who we were playing next, and the celebration after the Cambridge game knowing what was coming.

“They are moments that will go down in history.

“We might say we want that (a shorter cup run to focus on the league) but as soon as the whistle goes on a Saturday, we want to win.”

The by-product of an FA Cup run is the prize money - and Robinson admitted the club earned ‘a lot’ from their saunter into the fifth round last season.

But one thing they didn’t get was a big Premier League draw at stadium:mk. Although the second round tie against AFC Wimbledon was a sell-out, Robinson wants a Premier League giant to grace the recently completed stadium:mk this time around.

“We earned a lot of money from the FA Cup last year and it fills holes. It goes into certain areas to make up for loses people have made in years gone by.

“We are a club that is trying to claw back and stabilise, and this year will be no different.

“We’re very focused. People asked last season how we could draw 0-0 with Cambridge City, but go out and beat QPR who are in the Premier League 4-2. It’s just the nature of the game.

“Getting a big team here in the third round will be another moment to remember for the rest of our lives.”

Taking on the Shayman, who ply their trade two divisions below League 1 in the Skrill Premier, Robinson knows that no stone can remain unturned when it comes to the FA Cup, and the potential banana skin in front of them. He’s expected to name a strong side against Halifax to ensure safe passage into the second round to begin another adventure.

The road to Wembley starts this Saturday.