Momentum and the lure of a big draw on offer for Dons in FA Cup

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Liam Manning said there were plenty of reasons for MK Dons to be keen to progress into the FA Cup third round

The motivation to beat Portsmouth on Saturday in the FA Cup second round clash at Fratton Park is two-fold for MK Dons.

Having booked their spot in the seound round thanks to a comfortable 6-0 win over National League South side Taunton Town, Liam Manning’s side have done well in cup competitions but have continued to falter in League One.

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A win on Saturday over their third-tier counterparts, who they face again in Hampshire in three weeks time, would see Dons head into their next League One fixtures with back-to-back wins, having also beaten Newport County in the Papa John’s Trophy in the week.

Not only that though, the third round of the FA Cup is one of the showpiece rounds, with sides from the Premier League and Championship coming into the competition at this stage.

For Manning, both momentum and the opportunity to face more top-calibre opponents - after their Carabao Cup fourth round game against Premier Leauge Leicester in December - are on offer heading into the game against Portsmouth.

“It's two-fold - one for the club and the fans and one for the players to play against higher opposition. Everyone going into these games this weekend will want to go through and pull out one of the big sides.

“That's the beauty of the FA Cup, but at the same time we want to build on performances, build on the result we had on Tuesday and get back into rhythm and perform to get wins.”

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