HEAD-TO-HEAD: Dons hope to avoid new manager syndrome at Bradford City

Bradford boss Simon Grayson
Bradford boss Simon Grayson

Simon Grayson takes charge of Bradford City at home for the first time this Saturday, and MK Dons hope to avoid 'new manager syndrome.'

Following a poor run of form, the Bantams parted company with club legend Stuart McCall and drafted in Grayson as his replacement - a man tipped for the Dons job before Dan Micciche got the nod in January.

His two games in charge so far have seen them draw and lose on the road, though they are yet to play at Valley Parade under the new man.

Striker Charlie Wyke's 90th minute red card last time out against Plymouth means he will miss the game, but Micciche is aware of the threats Bradford carry, not least 'new manager syndrome' when his side visit Yorkshire on Saturday.

"We're aware Wyke is suspended for the game, but they're still a good side," said the Dons boss. "They're in the top half, they're not on a good run but they've got a new manager. We can see what impact that has, as we did at Fleetwood.

"I'm only focused on us though, nullifying their threats, taking the game to them, scoring goals and winning the game."

Bradford City are something of a bogey club for MK Dons. While Valley Parade is a ground with history for Dons, they haven’t won there since 2008 when they wrapped up the League 2 title with a 2-1 win.In the seven previous league meetings, the Bantams have won six - the only draw coming in Dons’ last visit to Valley Parade when the sides drew 2-2.

At Stadium MK earlier this season, Aaron Tshibola’s red card contributed to Dons’ 4-1 defeat.

But Micciche hopes the return of Peter Pawlett and Osman Sow to full fitness will bolster his side's chances of a win, but admitted he will be without Marcus Tavernier.

Micciche said: "Peter has been with us all week as has Osman. It's a huge plus for us, we've been waiting for them for the last few weeks. We'll see how they are for selection.

"Marcus isn't with us at the moment. We've got to take our time with him, he's young and we don't want to take any risks. We're taking advice from Middlesbrough and we're monitoring him on a day-to-day basis."