Football returns to stadiummk this evening when MK Dons entertain Norwich City at MK1.
The Dons have not been in action at stadiummk since early May and after a three month absence Karl Robinson is determined for his side to put on a show.
So far Robinson’s side are unbeaten in their pre-season campaign with three victories and a draw. The side have also scored 19 goals without conceding; however, tonight the Dons face their toughest test so far.
The Canaries, now under the guidance of former Birmingham City and Newcastle United boss Chris Hughton, are expected to field a near full-strength side as they step up their preparations for the forthcoming Premier League campaign.
When the two sides met last season the Dons stunned the Premier League boys with a superb 4-0 win that included some of the side’s most scintillating football. While emulating that result is not a priority, the Dons will be hoping to put in a strong performance against the Carrow
Norwich’s pre-season preparations have included games against Hertha Berlin, Celtic, Peterborough and Ajax. Their successive promotions to the Premier League followed by an excellent first season back in the top flight has been well-documented and Robinson hopes their recent success can inspire his side ahead of the new campaign.
Boss Robinson, who will have assistant manager Mick Harford alongside him in the home dugout for the first time, said: “You look at the likes of Anthony Pilkington, Simeon Jackson, Jonny Howson, Steve Morrison, Wes Hoolahan and Elliott Bennett they were all playing at this level a few years ago for Norwich or other teams.
"So it just shows you that in a few years they have made themselves into household Premier League names and that should be an aim of a lot of the players’ at this Football Club to try and emulate the players they are playing against.”
Robinson is expected to play the strongest XI available to him, but will do so with caution as he takes in to consideration their fitness plans for pre-season. Once again the Dons will test the new 4-3-3 system they are looking to adopt this year with great emphasis on the top three strikers who face stiff competition for places.
Robinson revealed earlier in the week that new striker Ryan Lowe will feature in the game although the former Sheffield Wednesday forward is not expected to start.
“They have played Peterborough and Ajax so they’ve had much sterner tests than we have so they’re going to be ahead of us in relation to where they’re at physically but it’s important that we go into it to play our own game. If things go wrong these are the games you want them to go wrong in because we have time to work on them.
“I’m not concerned about the result; I just want a good performance from the boys. I’m sure as the season draws nearer the sharpness and the intensity will rise.
“Chris Hughton and I have the same agent so I know him well. He will come here looking to find out as much as he can about his squad so likelihood is that they will come here as strong as they possibly can be.”
Tickets are still available and can be purchased on the night. Call the Box Office on 01908 622900 or visit in person at stadiummk or thecentre:mk.