Dons are open to tinkering with their standard formation

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It was a different shape Dons to the one seen over the last two years

Switching to a back four next season may be on the agenda for MK Dons.

After two seasons playing with three centre-backs and wing-backs, Dons reverted to a more traditional 4-2-3-1 formation against AFC Rushden & Diamonds on Tuesday night in their first pre-season game of the season.

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Liam Manning used the tactic on a handful of occasions, most notably in the absence of Harry Darling when he suffered injury in January.

Dons were without Daniel Harvie and Dean Lewington at Hayden Road through injury, and opted to go with four at the back in both halves in favour of adding another attacking player to the sharp end of the pitch.

Assistant head coach Chris Hogg though said formations, as such, are not as important as people think.

“Formations are just a starting point really,” he explained.

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“I don’t get fixated on formations - it’s about people in certain areas of the pitch where we feel we can hurt teams.

“We switched to a back four tonight and that’s something we’ve worked on.

“That versatility will give us something extra in our armoury going forwards.”

Dan Kemp was one of the attacking beneficiaries in the formation, scoring in the first half.

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He added: “It was a different formation to the one we played last season, and it’s so important we are adaptable going into the new season.

“For me, it’s enjoyable to be in that formation as we’ve got an extra attacking player on the pitch.

“I think as a team it’s good to show we can play a few formations because it could be really important at certain points in the season.”