Queens Park Rangers should be higher up the league but need to let boss Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink settle in first, according to Karl Robinson.
The Dons boss, the third longest serving manager in English football, is looking forward to pitting his wits against the former Chelsea striker, who has taken charge of just 16 games at Rangers.
The R’s find themselves comfortably mid table, sitting 11th in the Championship, but should be challenging for the play-offs next season, according to Robinson. And he feels Hasselbaink is the right man to lead them there.
“Jimmy has gone in and he’s the right man for the job,” he said. “It’s a clever appointment. He’s a really good guy, he’s iconic in the game.
“When he first came to the UK, he was different and played differently as a striker. He made people change their system. He stretched games and he scored goals.
“When you get a man in who has been there, seen it and done it, it might take time to bed in. I’ve watched him a lot, and he’s stamped his mark on them a bit. Results weren’t great initially, but he’s making changes and it has taken longer than people thought.
“They’ve got some top players who, on their day, can rip apart anyone in the Championship.”
The Rangers boss though is wary of Dons’ ability, especially at home. Having lost two of their last seven at stadium:mk, Hasselbaink expects his side to have a tough afternoon on Saturday.
“They have got their own style and they stay with that style,”Hasselbaink told QPR.com. “They have their own identity and are a team I like to watch. They play some good, attractive football, have a lot of speed and a lot of rotation between the lines.
“They are a difficult side to play against, especially at home.”
Robinson will be without Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, who is ineligible to play against his parent club, though the Dons boss confirmed Jonny Williams will start the game in the hole.
And Robinson feels another midfield team-mate - Dean Bowditch - is in the form of his life.
“Dean Bowditch is playing the best football of his life at the moment,” he added. “He’s played the two best games he’s had in an MK Dons shirt. Having him in this form is great too. We’re all in good form, and we need to continue it.”