DONS will have to be on high alert at Bristol Rovers on Wednesday as The Pirates look to bounce back from a heavy defeat on Saturday.
Since their 2-0 defeat at stadium:mk on New Year’s Day, Rovers have won just once - a 3-1 victory over Swindon - and were on the receiving end of a 6-1 drubbing against Walsall last Saturday as they continue to struggle in the League One relegation zone.
But Dons boss Karl Robinson is weary that Rovers are not to be underestimated, despite admitting his side outclassed The Pirates in their meeting last month.
“They’re at home, they have got a point to prove, and they thought they were outclassed when we played them here,” said Robinson on Monday.
“It’s going to be a big challenge for us on Wednesday night and we know that if we’re not on our A-game, we are not going to win.
“They’ve brought in a couple of players, and they had a lot of players out on Saturday, but it wasn’t a 6-1 game from what I’ve heard. When you have a drubbing like that, it’s amazing how you respond in the next game.”
Robinson’s players had the weekend off due to Leyton Orient still being in the FA Cup, and are chomping at the bit to get back out on the pitch after a week off.
“It’s amazing how positive the players are,” Robinson said. “They are looking forward to an exciting end of the season.
“We have good characters who want to get in the play-offs and get out of this league. We want to turn up on Wednesday and play the right type of football and come away with the win.”
Dons fans will see a few familiar faces in the Bristol line-up - David McCracken, James Tunnicliffe, Dominic Blizzard and Carl Regan all once plied their trade at Dons before leaving for pastures new. But Robinson is not concerned with sentiment and wants to come away with another win on the road after picking up four points from Dagenham and Leyton Orient,
He said: “I only care about the players who put our shirt on. I don’t mean to be disrespectful to the players - there are a few that have ties back here - but I don’t get dragged into that. I need to pick a team that is strong enough to beat Rovers regardless of who they play.
“Rovers will have a point to prove with their fans, but I’m sure they’ll be on their A-game and we have to be on ours to come away with the victory we are looking for.”
A win on Wednesday would see Dons’ unbeaten away streak reach four games and lift them as high as third, while Rovers would have to win by a cricket score to move out of the bottom four.