HEAD-TO-HEAD: Old boss meets the new boss at Stadium MK

Robbie Neilson expects a welcoming reception for former Dons boss Karl Robinson when his Charlton Athletic side arrive tonight (Tuesday), but isn't interested in sentiment.
Robbie NeilsonRobbie Neilson
Robbie Neilson

The 36-year-old replaced Robinson, who left Stadium MK in October, but will come across his predecessor in the opposite dugout when the sides meet in the FA Cup second round replay.

Robinson has made a solid start to life at The Valley, picking up two 0-0 draws, while Neilson saw his side knocked out of the Checkatrade Trophy at the hands of Yeovil before landing his first win in charge with a 1-0 win over AFC Wimbledon on Saturday.

The 0-0 draw at The Valley in the initial tie - Robinson's first game in charge of the Addicks - came too soon for Neilson to take charge, having only been announced 24 hours prior, and he is ready to pit his wits against Robinson for the first time.

Though he expects a positive reception for Robinson from his new fan base, Neilson said he doesn't believe sentiment will play a part in the match.

"It doesn't mean anything to me really," he said. "I don't know Karl, I've only spoken to him for a couple of minutes in the first game. Other than that, it's just another team with another manager coming for a game.

"It's up to us to respect Charlton as a team, who have good strengths, but ultimately it's two teams playing football. It doesn't matter who is in the dugout.

"Both sides are in a transition. Karl will be changing things at Charlton, and we've altered the way we're playing too.

"He had six good years here, he did a great job, transformed getting them into the Championship and building a strong club. I'd like to think a manager like that would get a good reception and I'm sure he will."

Robinson's record against Charlton during his Dons tenure wasn't really one to write home about: in seven match-ups, Dons won just twice, and only picked up a point when playing in London, prior to the draw at the start of the month.

Neilson's experience of the FA Cup in England has largely been restricted to the television, by his own admission, despite having made two appearances for Leicester City.

When asked of his FA Cup memories, he said: "Not a lot, to be honest! I watched the game last Saturday, that's about it. I can't remember who we played at Leicester!

"Growing up, we'd all have FA Cup Saturday - both the English FA Cup and the Scottish Cup. It was usually one of the only games on. It's something you remember as a kid, and we'd all love to progress.

"At the start of the season, the league is always the priority, then the FA Cup. We've got an opportunity to go and play Brighton, which will be a good one for the club and fans. We'll put out a strong team and keep the momentum going. It's important we get some continuity and the mentality of turning up and winning and going on to the next one."