HEAD-TO-HEAD: Dons can challenge 'big hitters' Bradford City

Robbie Neilson is confident his side can go toe-to-toe with Bradford City when the sides meet at Stadium MK on Saturday.

Thursday, 5th October 2017, 5:04 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 6:17 am
MK Dons

The Banthams sit third in the table, six points clear of Dons in 10th, and are expected to battle for promotion this season.

But with Neilson making similar noises about his own side after an indifferent start to the season, and now five games undefeated in all competitions, he doesn't see any reason why Saturday shouldn't be a fiercely contested afternoon.

"Bradford are one of the big hitters in this league and they'll be expecting to get promoted this year," he said. "They get big attendances at home, they're a huge club. But we're in a position at the moment where we feel we can challenge them.

"It's going well at the moment, but it's all in the past and we have to look at this massive game with Bradford. We're missing Brittain and Cisse (on international duty), guys who have played a lot of football with us recently, so the guys coming in will have to step up to the plate.

"I've been pleased with everyone but there's still some way to go."

Stuart McCall's side are in a rich vein of form themselves though. Having won six of their last eight and losing just once, Bradford also boast an excellent record against Dons. In fact, you have to look back to 2008 to find Dons last league win - the game that secured them the League 2 title at Valley Parade.

Two goals in five minutes at Stadium MK last August ensured the Banthams took all three points with them up the motorway, while the last meeting between the sides saw the pair share the spoils in a 2-2 draw up in Bradford. That match will be remembered for all the wrong reasons for Chuks Aneke though, who suffered the hamstring injury which he only returned from on Tuesday night.

Having come through six months of rehab and recovery, Neilson confirmed Aneke would be ready for selection this weekend but will still have to be carefully managed throughout the season.

He said: "Chuks is great, he came in and recovered well, has been training so he'll be available on Saturday. We just have to keep an eye on him.

"We'll be managing him until the end of the season to be honest because he's been out for so long. We can't expect him to play Saturday-Tuesday-Saturday, certainly not until next season."