'Too early to call Colchester clash a six-pointer'

MK Dons
MK Dons

MK Dons should be refreshed and fully prepared to face promotion chasing Colchester on Saturday.

Following last weekend’s rain-postponed game with Newport County, Dons were given a watching brief as they lost top spot to Lincoln City.

Colchester meanwhile were thumped 4-0 away at Carlisle last Saturday. The U’s sit third in League 2, five points adrift of Dons and have played an extra game.

John McGreal’s side have struggled somewhat on the road this season, winning just three of their 11 away games. Victory for Dons will see them open up a healthy gap to their opponents, while victory for Colchester will put them hot on Dons' heels. Not even at the half-way stage in the season yet though, Dons boss Paul Tisdale isn't calling it a six-pointer.

He said: "There will come a point where you'll mention six-pointers, we're not quite half way through yet but ultimately as we go, we will look at where we are in the league and that target is to be above fourth place because that gets us promoted. I think we're entitled to talk like that given where we are in the league. Every three points is useful, and OK, we're not yet at a six-pointer but it would help.

"We cannot underestimate any team, especially not one third in the league. We thought they were a good side last year, but they've improved again this year. They will want to win as much as we do."

"It will be a tough game," midfielder Lawson D'Ath added. "It always is when we play them, a hard tough battle."

Aside the usual suspects, Chuks Aneke will remain sidelined for Saturday's game as he continues to struggle with the injury he picked up against Morecambe earlier this month.

Tisdale added: "He's running. He has missed three weeks of training. There's a big step between someone running and playing. Hopefully he will be back sometime over the Christmas period."

Dons and Colchester have crossed paths 20 times over the years, but they have usually been one-sided affairs, with Dons claiming victory in 12, and Colchester just four. And they have never won at Stadium MK.

Paul Tisdale

Paul Tisdale

On their last trip to Milton Keynes, back in November 2014, Colchester were hit for six as Benik Afobe fired in a hat-trick for Dons, with the other goals coming from Dele Alli, Ben Reeves and a Lee Hodson rocket.