Both sides still fighting for something as Dons prepare for Colchester clash
Three points will be vital to both MK Dons and Colchester United when the sides meet on Saturday.
With the U's two points outside the play-off spots, Dons know a win at the JobServe Community Stadium will keep their automatic promotion chances very much alive with one game to go next week.
"They need to win," said Dons boss Paul Tisdale. "I had a glance on the table, and there are four teams on 64 points. That's the idea of the play-offs. We've had them for the last two decades or two, it's about creating that entertainment and pushing the excitement right until the end of the season.
"The whole top half of this table has something to play for. We have to relish in the excitement of it. We don't undervalue what's in it for Colchester, but we are looking to win for us."
There have been no shortage of meeting between MK Dons and Colchester down the years, but few have had more riding on it than this Saturday’s clash.
With both sides chasing promotion - Dons automatically and Colchester via the play-offs - a win for either will deal a serious blow for the other.
Colchester took the spoils earlier this season at Stadium MK, when Luke Prosser’s 11th minute flick beat Lee Nicholls in a narrow 1-0 win back in December - a win that saw the U’s climb above Dons in the table.
Dean Lewington added: "They started our sticky patch. We were playing alright up until they beat us, they were the first team to beat us here and we lost a bit of form after that. They were a good team, with some good players. We're aware of their strengths but we know what we need to do."
Since then though, Colchester have won just six games, picking up 23 points from a possible 63.
In 21 previous meetings down the years, Dons have taken victory in 12 of them. Their last trip to Colchester came back in February 2015, when a Dele Alli strike on the stroke of half time secured the three points for Karl Robinson’s side. The same season also saw Dons run riot in a 6-0 win at Stadium MK.