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Karl: Staff deserve mention

9 November 2012

Manager Karl Robinson took time out to praise the work of his backroom team ahead of the Dons’ blockbuster clash with Sheffield United this Saturday.

With only two days to prepare his side for the visit of United, Robinson wanted to reserve a special mention for his first team staff for their tireless work in getting the players ready for arguably their biggest game of the season so far.

The squad underwent a short training session hours after the Leyton Orient game in mid-week before visiting a cryotherapy unit at Champney’s Spa on Thursday morning in order to speed up rehabilitation and recovery.

And with kick-off time looming, the Dons’ longest-serving manager believes that is all set for the visit of Danny Wilson’s Blades this weekend and speaking before the game, he said: “It’s been a ridiculously quick turnaround."

"This game has come awfully quick so obviously we would have liked a bit more rest going into a tie with Sheffield United, especially when they’ve had an extra 24 hours rest – it’s a big ask for us.

“The boys did an extra session after the game on Wednesday and didn’t finish until after midnight. They then stayed in the hotel before going to a cryotherapy unit in Tring yesterday (Thursday) morning.

“The backroom staff has done tremendously well and I really want to say thank you to all of them. This wouldn’t be possible without them and all the hours they’ve spent behind computers making everything right and the hours spent putting it into practice.

“But the preparation doesn't guarantee a result, although it deserves too. We’re obviously not in the same League as Sheffield United in terms of what they can do behind the scenes but we’re fighting to get there.

“This game is going to be a good one though; its roll your sleeves up chaps and let’s have a go.”

The Yorkshire outfit come into the game unbeaten in 16 games and with top goalscorer Nick Blackman having netted seven times already this campaign, they will provide Robinson with one of his most difficult tests - something the Liverpudlian relishes.

“We’ve got to make sure we prepare and approach Saturday in the right way as Sheffield United are a big, big football club.

“There’s some big players in their team, players that should be playing an awful lot higher but they’ve been able to keep hold of them. (Chris) Maguire and (Nick) Blackman are two of them along with (Michael) Doyle midfield and (Ryan) Flynn who I know from my Liverpool days, so we know the enormity of the challenge and we’ve got to make sure we’re physically equipped to cope with it.

“They’ve had some tremendous victories already this season so to be unbeaten going into this, they deserve credit. But if we win on Saturday, we’re three points behind them which just shows how tight this League is.

“We’ve got a game plan and we know what we want to do. We know how they play and we’ve got to make sure we’re ready for that challenge.”

Robinson will monitor defender Antony Kay ahead of the game after the centre-half limped off during Wednesday night’s victory over Orient with a dead leg while striker Ibra Sekajja is waiting in the wings for his debut, after the Crystal Palace loanee was able to train with his team-mates for the first time on Thursday.

And the 32-year-old revealed he’s looking forward to working with his newest recruit over the coming months.

“Ibra (Sekajja) has come in, he trained very well yesterday and he is somebody who I’m looking forward to working with.

“Obviously he’s still young but he’s going to come in and bolster the squad and give us something different. He’s a lovely boy, really polite and well mannered and has a fantastic work ethic. I’m really looking forward to spending a bit of time with him.”

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