Colchester manager John McGreal called Dons boss Paul Tisdale 'a high class manager' ahead of the sides clash on Saturday.
The 46-year-old has been in charge of the U's since May 2016, and has crossed paths with Tisdale during his time with Exeter City.
“Paul has a nice way of playing and a good philosophy," he said. “We get on well with him and he’s been brilliant since I’ve taken over as a manager.
“It just proves what a high class manager he is, to leave Exeter after such a long time and successful years of late with two play-offs and then do a terrific job at MK Dons.
“We both have a similar idea of how we want to play and how we want to play. You can see that from us this year and with the team Paul has at MK Dons.
“I don’t know if it’s a coincidence, with both teams being in the top three.”
Colchester head to Stadium MK sitting third in League 2, five points behind Dons in second spot. While Tisdale said it was too early to call the game a six-pointer, McGreal knows how big the game will be.
He continued: “It’s a big game against a big club who have done particularly well of late. Paul has done a terrific job – he’s made a nice steady start and they’ve hit the floor running, especially at home.
“It’s going to be a tough game against a team who have been near the top of the league for a few months. But it’s a nice game for us to come back into after what happened last week.
“It’s a big club and a lovely stadium at MK Dons, with a big, expansive pitch which we’re looking to play our football on. We play with a bit of width and hopefully, it’s conducive to that.
“We know that they’re going to be a threat but it’s about what we do and what we try and implement.”