Dons can’t fear a Derby backlash

MK Dons celebrate Dean Bowditch's goal against Middlesbrough on Tuesday PNL-161202-173251002
MK Dons celebrate Dean Bowditch's goal against Middlesbrough on Tuesday PNL-161202-173251002

MK Dons must be wary but not cautious of a managerless Derby County backlash when they travel to the iPro Stadium on Saturday.

Paul Clement was sacked as manager on Monday with Derby in the Championship, six points from top spot, but without a win in 2016.

While teams are known to have an upturn in form when a manager departs, Robinson feels Jordan Rhodes’ late equaliser for Middlesbrough on Tuesday night will give Dons a similar desire for a strong reaction.

“We’ll equally get a reaction based on what happened to us on Tuesday night.

“The manager has lost his job, which is never nice for anyone, and he’s a good guy.

“Obviously something has happened from within, maybe someone has come for him internally - you just don’t know. A lot of people will have been in the chairman’s ears when things don’t go right. That’s the nature of the industry.

Former Derby County manager Paul Clement. PNL-161202-173227002

Former Derby County manager Paul Clement. PNL-161202-173227002

“Don’t think that because they’re at the top, it’s not as demanding as where we are. The pressure on us was the same when we were supposed to be winning at the end of last season.

“I’ve done this a while now, and I understand the protocol for managers at the top and bottom.

“It should be a banker of a home win, but we believe we can go there and cause an upset. Derby holds no interest to us - it’s only about our dressing room. We want to make their lives difficult.”

Saturday’s game is only the second time Dons and Derby will lock horns. The first, coming back in September, saw the Rams win 3-1 with two late goals from Darren Bent and Tom Ince ensuring all three points at stadium:mk.