HEAD-TO-HEAD: Dons must defend Bradford’s aerial threat

Bradford City's James Hanson
Bradford City's James Hanson

MK Dons will change the way they defend to mute Bradford striker James Hanson on Tuesday night.

Like Dons, Bradford have picked up four points this season, winning their first game of the season on Saturday as Jordy Hiwula-Mayifuila scored the only goal of the game against Peterborough at London Road.

James Hanson

James Hanson

Bantams striker Hanson scored 13 goals last season but is yet to hit the mark so far this season, and Dons boss Karl Robinson is wary the threat the 28-year-old carries.

“When you look at James Hanson up front, they’re always going to be a threat,” Robinson said. “Hanson has been one of the most efficient strikers in the league at attacking wide deliveries. We’ll have to change how we defend crosses to ensure he can’t attack above the centre backs.

“And I think Josh Cullen in midfield looks outstanding.

“Bradford were excellent on Saturday and we have to make sure we’re at our best. I won’t have a lot of players fit to change things up, but we’ve got good players who are ready and raring to go.”

Dons come into the clash with Bradford having twice come from 2-0 down in their last two outings. After seeing off Newport County 3-2 at Rodney Parade last Tuesday, Dons rescued a point against Millwall with record signing Kieran Agard scoring a brace after Dons trailed 2-0 after 25 minutes.

Robinson was impressed with his side’s first half performance against Millwall and is likely to name a similar side - though Samir Carruthers could be fit enough to replace GC Williams in the centre of the park.

Dean Bowditch added another half an hour to his recovery process on Saturday, while Ben Reeves returned to training on Monday and could make the bench.

Bradford have had the upper hand over Robinson’s side in recent years though. During Dons’ promotion campaign, Bradford twice beat them 2-1 in League 1 and have beaten them four times in the last six encounters.

The Bantams also haven’t conceded a league goal since April 19.

READ MORE: MK Citizen’s MK Dons Stats Centre