No pressure on young Dons ahead of FA Youth Cup clash

Edu Rubio
Edu Rubio

Edu Rubio isn't setting his MK Dons U18s side any targets ahead of their FA Youth Cup fourth round with Colchester United later today (Tuesday).

Dons head to the Weston Homes Community Stadium knowing they will play either Reading or Charlton in the next round, but Rubio is keen to take it one game at a time, not letting his side feel under pressure to reach a particular round, despite going further than any other U18s side has before them.

"I don't want to look ahead," he said. "This game is a great learning opportunity for us to take on a team also enjoying being in the fourth round - let's go there and compete.

"We've been analysing them, we've really prepared well. If we perform and we beat them, we'll do the same in the fifth round. That's just the process. We'll see what destiny brings. Whether it's a long run in the cup, winning it or just reaching the fourth round - I don't know. But we'll approach it in the same way.

"Our opponents will be Reading or Charlton... but I don't want to know yet. We're just focused on what we can do today."

Dons booked their spot in the fourth round with a smash-and-grab victory over Craig Bellamy's Cardiff City in the last round, with Tommy Hope's late screamer separating the sides.

Rubio felt it was an important victory for his side, having to adapt after their game plan didn't work against the Bluebirds.

He said: "In the last round, our DNA didn't work. We popped the ball around, playing through the thirds, and sometimes it doesn't work. The boys still had the resilience and the right decision making process to do what it took to be competitive. We haven't had that before.

"Yes, we like playing our from the back - that has to remain MK Dons. But we also have to be competitive and understand how to win games of football. These lads have understood that balance."