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Match Previews

Preview: Swindon Town

24 August 2012

Shaun Williams is set to return from injury ahead of schedule and could play some part in MK Dons’ encounter with Swindon Town at the County Ground on Saturday.

The midfielder-turned-defender has missed both of the Dons’ League games this season after suffering an ankle injury in the Capital One Cup win over Cheltenham Town two weeks ago.

Williams rejoined training on Thursday and will be looking to prove his fitness in the Dons’ final training session ahead of the game in the hope of forcing his way into Karl Robinson’s starting XI. The Irishman’s return offers a timely boost to Robinson who will be without suspended trio Stephen Gleeson, Antony Kay and Alan Smith. Mathias Kouo-Doumbe remains sideline with a knee complaint.

Speaking ahead of the game, Robinson said: “Shauny trained yesterday and he is going to travel tomorrow to be in the squad which is good news. He is 10 days ahead of schedule, which is fantastic for us because he’s an extremely important player for us.”

The Dons will come up against a Town side who are expecting big things this season. Following their promotion as League 2 champions, the Robins are aiming for back-to-back promotions under the guidance of boss Paolo Di Canio.

The former Italy and West Ham United star has made a huge impact at the County Ground and has spent money wisely over the summer recruiting his charges. They opened their season with a draw at Hartlepool but thrashed Crawley 3-0 in midweek and Robinson admits he is excited about pitting his wits against the charismatic Italian. 

“There is a lot of expecting at Swindon but I think Paolo Di Canio has done a wonderful job there, he has galvanised them. Paolo has installed an excellent mentality at the County Ground, he was manager of the League last year and this year he is pushing for promotion once again. You have to show them tremendous respect for what they have achieved and the squad they have assembled.

“I am looking forward to Saturday; I think it will be very interesting. I have studied them, I have watched them, they have an interesting style and we are looking forward to testing ourselves against it. 

“They play with no fear and with an enjoyment; they have carried it through as champions of League 2. They have some big players who will fight for their manager and fight for each other so I think we have to show Swindon a lot of respect for what they have achieved and for the way they have started the season.”

Di Canio could name an unchanged side after hailing his team’s performance in midweek.  Midfielder Gary Roberts is yet to make an appearance this season since joining in the summer. He continues to struggle with a calf injury and will be assessed ahead of kick-off.

Former Dons midfielder Alan Navarro and striker Paul Benson are both pushing for a recall but may have to settle for a place on the bench again.

Listen to the game live on MK Dons Player. Tickets are available on the gate.

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