MK Dons ready to meet AFC head-on in Kingston
After four encounters at Stadium MK, MK Dons and AFC Wimbledon will meet for the first time in London on Tuesday night, and boss Robbie Neilson cannot wait.
The Scot won his first league match in charge of Dons as Dean Bowditch's second half penalty secured all three points in December - the third victory over the Londonders since the first game back in 2012.
With just three points separating the sides in League 1, it's not just bragging rights at stake when they take to the pitch at Kingsmeadow Stadium, but those rights will weigh more on the fans' minds given how both sides are now just playing for midtable pride.
It will likely be the most hostile atmosphere many MK Dons players will encounter, but Neilson, who has experienced many fierce derbies in his time at Hearts, cannot wait to face the challenge head on.
"I'll be glad to see the front of it! It'll be a proper football match, intense with a good atmosphere, with two teams who really want to win. When you cross that line, you only ever think of the next five or 10 seconds. It's a game we're really looking forward to.
"Both teams will be under pressure - it's the first time we're going there and they're expected to win in front of their home support. It'll be a quality match - I'm not sure about the quality of the football, but it'll be entertaining."
George Williams, who played in the fixture for the first time earlier this season, said the players cannot afford to be washed up in the occasion, and had to concentrate on the game itself rather than the angst in the stands.
"We have to concentrate on the fixture itself and not get carried away with the rest," he said. "We just want a good performance for the fans.
"It will always be a derby game - we've not been there before, but it's a game we're all looking forward to.
"We've got an experienced bunch, so there will have been a lot of derbies here and there. We're well aware it's a special occasion, and one for the fans in particular, but we'll approach it in the right manner and try and improve. We know it will be a tough test.
"We got a great response when we won the home tie here. We can't afford to get carried away by the occasion and focus on our football, be brave and improve. We will make sure we're up for it."
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