MK Dons return to Spotland this weekend looking to repeat the fond memories of their last trip to Rochdale.
When the sides met back in the penultimate game of the 2014/15 season, Dons held on for a 3-2 victory, kicking their drive for promotion in high gear, ending Dale’s chances of sneaking the final play-off spot.
Dons boss Karl Robinson said he feels that match signalled their intent in the promotion race.
“It’s the ground where I think we got promoted, so hopefully we can go there and perform to the best of our abilities,” said the manager. “One of my favourite memories as a manager was David Martin making that save in the last minute there. We couldn’t have known then how important it would be.”
Dons travel to Rochdale on the back of their first defeat of the season on Tuesday night, going down 2-1 to Bradford City after, for the third game in a row, they fell 2-0 behind.
With Darren Potter and another ‘key first team player’ ruled out of the trip, Dons will travel very light on the ground.
READ MORE: Two key Dons to miss trip to Rochdale
Keith Hill’s side are still seeking their first win of the season. Dale currently sit 20th in the table after two defeats and a draw, and haven’t won at Spotland in league action since April.
But despite their shaky start to the campaign, Robinson is wary of the threat Rochdale can provide, especially at home.
He said: “Rochdale will be like they always are - aggressive out of possession, with tremendous quality in possession. They have strong beliefs, talented staff and it’s a difficult ground to go to.
“We’ll be full of confidence, despite a little knock back on Tuesday. We don’t have a divine right to win games at this level, so we are fully focussed on the job at hand.”
Rochdale are a side Dons have had good fortunes against in recent years, having not lost in the last seven meetings. Rochdale have to look as far back as September 2007 for their last victory over Dons, with two last minute strikes seeing them to a 3-2 victory.
For more on the head-to-head, visit the MK Citizen’s MK Dons Stats Centre