HEAD-TO-HEAD: Shrews are the season's surprise

Keith Millen believes Shrewsbury are the biggest surprise package in League 1 this season.

Friday, 4th May 2018, 11:00 am
MK Dons drew 1-1 with Shrewsbury earlier this season

Paul Hurst's side are safe in third spot ahead of MK Dons' visit to Shropshire on Saturday evening, despite having 'no real stand-out players' according to the Dons boss.

Millen, whose side cannot finish higher than 23rd heading into the final game of the season, heaped praise on the Shrews for their excellent campaign, but said they may let their foot off the gas ahead of their play-off campaign.

"It will be a tough game," Millen said. "I think they're probably the surprise of the season. Paul Hurst has done a fantastic job there. Looking at their team, they've got no real stand-out players, when you compare them to Wigan and Blackburn's individuals, but on paper, Shrewsbury are the surprise of the season. They're a very fit, athletic, hard working team and that's what they've been about all year.

"They're in the play-offs, they've been safe there for a while. It's a tough task sometimes to be in that position, saving their legs for the play-offs and making sure they're still switched on. That's their only issue coming into the game. They won't want to pick up injuries either.

"We've done our work on them, but they might rest a few or might go full strength. It will be a tough one for us. We have to match their enthusiasm at the very least, because I don't want to go there and get steamrolled."

Having lost their last six, Millen hopes Dons can bow out of League 1 with a bit of pride on their side, winning what would be only their fifth away win all season.

He said: "We've not drawn a line on the season, because we've still got a game left, but I don't want any more doom and gloom. It gives some players the chance on Saturday to stake a claim for next season.

"I'm going to pick the team I think will win the game. Whether that's looking at the loan players, or we look at some of hte players who haven't had a lot of game time, but I'll pick a team who I hope can put in a performance."

Dons have the favourable record when the sides have met in the past, losing just twice to the side from Shropshire, the last coming five years ago in a 3-2 defeat at Stadium MK.

When the pair faced off earlier this season, Peter Pawlett put Dons ahead 11 minutes into the second half. But when a win looked on the card for Robbie Neilson’s men, Shaun Whalley equalised with four minutes remaining.

All League 1 games kick off at 5:30pm on Saturday.