Dons wary of Cobblers' recent upturn in fortune

Northampton Town
Northampton Town

Picking up their fourth win in a row will be no walk in the park against a resurgent Northampton Town, according to MK Dons boss Paul Tisdale.

Following a disastrous start Dean Austin, Cobblers moved swiftly to sack him, bringing in former Carlisle manager Keith Curle at the start of the month. Since then, they've gone four undefeated, recovering to 19th in the table.

But 22 miles down the M1, Dons have won three games in a row en route to fourth spot. Northampton have never won a game in Milton Keynes since the sides first met in 2009, but manager Tisdale though knows their current league position can be deceiving and won't be taking Curle's Northampton for granted.

He said: "They have had three very good results against three good teams, so you can see (Keith Curle) already made an impact and they're competitive, so we'll really need to be on our toes on Saturday.

"We had an epic struggle two years ago when Exeter played Carlisle in the play-offs. We played them three times in a fortnight. There were lots of goals scored as well. Keith has done a really good job already in the first two weeks and I'm sure there will be a lot more to come.

"He did a very good job at Carlisle to make his team effective and he did things then that I learned from. You try and take something from every manager and team you play, and with Keith there are elements I admire. Hopefully he keeps those things to himself on Saturday!"

Dean Lewington and George Williams have helped MK Dons to three clean sheets in a row

Dean Lewington and George Williams have helped MK Dons to three clean sheets in a row

Captain Dean Lewington added: "They've picked up. I was quite surprised to see where they were really, from the games we played last season, they looked a decent outfit – especially when they played here.

"They made that change, because for whatever reason it wasn't working for them, but since the new manager came in they've had some good results. They'll come here full of confidence and it will make what would have already been a very hard game even more difficult because they're starting to perform like they should."

With the proximity of the clubs, it represents something of a derby game for the two sides, but the rivalry has yet to reach fever pitch between them.

"These things always add something to the game, and I'm learning about them all the time," Tisdale added. "I've had to ask questions to see how the land lies. It's still early days for me, I'm still finding my feet in the region and with the club.

"I've asked how much of a derby it is, it's a local game and no-matter how you look at it, there will be more travelling support than normal. But whichever way you look at it, Northampton will want to win and pick up three points for their new manager."