DONS boss Karl Robinson is hoping the curse of former players coming back to haunt him will stop on Saturday as his side take on Tranmere Rovers.
John Welsh and Dale Jennings both worked with Robinson at Liverpool’s academy, and Jennings in particular has made a huge impression on League One this season.
The pair had a big impact when the two sides met back in October - Jennings scoring twice for his side on their way to a 4-2 victory over a lacklustre Dons at Prenton Park.
And along with Thomas Ince at Notts County and Neil Mellor at Sheffield Wednesday, Robinson is hoping that the trend of having players he knows well scoring against his side is bucked on Saturday. For the Dons boss, it’s not a case of better the devil you know.
He said: “There are going to be a few players on the pitch on Saturday who I have worked with since they were very young, and I’m very proud of where they have got to - I just hope their ability comes out after our game.
“Jennings had a great game against us last time, but in the match before that he played Notts County and wasn’t in the game.
“And he’s the winger - they’re the unpredictable ones, the exciting ones, you never know what you’re going to get! If he turns up on Saturday with his A-game, he will be extremely difficult to play against.
“On that side of the pitch we will have a player who wants to run at people, who wants to take on the full-backs with a bit of pace.
“We will be thoughtful about how we play them, but they have another 10 players that we have to take care of as well.”
Despite Rovers’ league position - hovering dangerously close to the relegation zone - Robinson is not taking a win for granted, knowing the kind of performances they are capable of.
“On any given day, as they have proven, Tranmere can beat anyone,” he said. “But on our day, our performance can be as good as anyone else in this league. We have good enough players here to get into the play-off position.”
In terms of injury concerns in Dons’ squad, Angelo Balanta and Jude Stirling will remain on the sidelines long-term, while Sean O’Hanlon will have more tests to discover the extent of his ankle injury.