The season has only just begun but Dons boss Karl Robinson believes one of the toughest tests awaits his side on Tuesday night when they take on AFC Bournemouth at the Goldsands Stadium.
Bournemouth’s recruitment over the summer has caught Robinson’s eye and with the Cherries, like the Dons, desperate to seal promotion this year it could be a tasty clash at the seaside tomorrow night.
In particular it is the addition of Matthew Tubbs from Crawley and the loan signing of Southampton’s Lee Barnard, who scored in the 1-1 draw with Portsmouth on Saturday, who the Dons boss believes will be key.
Speaking ahead of the game, Robinson said: “The pressure is on them but it is also on us as well. People do talk about the fact that Bournemouth have got money but that doesn’t matter, you have to make sure you have to pick the right players.
“I think Bournemouth have recruited remarkably in the summer, they have brought in some excellent players. Tubbs is somebody that everybody was trying to get last year and they managed to tempt him away; Lee Barnard went under the radar when they brought him in but it’s another great signing.
“This is one of the toughest tests of our season away at Bournemouth and I am under no illusions about that.”
The Dons’ preparations have been made all the more difficult too as both Stephen Gleeson and Antony Kay miss out through suspension and Mathias Kouo-Doumbe (knee) and Shaun Williams (ankle) remained sidelined.
As a result, the Dons only have one centre-back available for the match but it is a challenge that Robinson believes his squad can overcome.
“It’s not so much a headache, it’s more about reshuffling. Jon Otsemobor is not match fit but he may come back in, there are a number of different scenarios we have because we could even go three at the back, which is something we did in pre-season. We’re working hard on it and we will go to Bournemouth in a very confident mood.
“We’re working on a few tactical things, we’re going to let the boys watch Everton and Manchester United and maybe learn from some of the best players in the world. We will have all day Tuesday to have a look at what we can do against Bournemouth in the evening,
“We go into the game on the back of a win and full of confidence but Bournemouth will be playing their first home game, which is always difficult because there will be high expectation levels. “
MK Dons Player will provide live match commentary from the game, while the Dons’ official Twitter account - @MKDonsFC – will provide live updates.