MK Dons’ FA Cup second round clash with Dover on Saturday has been described as a “must win” game by boss Karl Robinson.
After losing eight of their last 11 games in all competitions, confidence is low in the Dons dressing room.
But with non-league opposition, and a competition which harbours very fond memories for most of the players, Robinson is hopeful Saturday’s game could be the catalyst his side needs to get out of the run they’re in.
“It’s a game we want to win, we have to win. We can’t get beaten by Dover. We have to put in a performance like we did against Halifax,” he said.
“When you’re in a slump like we are at the minute, it’s a case of how to get out of it and this might be the catalyst we need.
“We’ll show them (Dover) the utmost respect – we had them watched at the weekend and we understand what we’re going to do to beat them.”
Last season’s campaign, which saw Dons reach the fifth round for the first time, saw the club play an additional seven matches on top of their League 1 commitments.
This time, Robinson hopes for a smooth transition into the third round without the threat of a replay.
“The FA Cup can take a lot out of you, and we saw that from our results last year,” he said. “We played a lot of games last season, but hopefully this year it will be a bit more plain sailing.
“Hopefully, we’ll beat Dover at the weekend. Darren Potter is suspended, so it’ll give Dele Alli the chance to play in the centre, Dale Jennings can’t play so it’ll give Jason Banton the opportunity to get back in the team. And hopefully we’ll have David Martin back.”
Dover come to stadium:mk sat 12th in Conference South, having booked their place in the second round of the FA Trophy by beating East Thurrock on Tuesday night.