Four games remain of the 2012/13 season and for MK Dons it is simply the case of preparing as though four Cup Final await.
. The result saw the Dons climb up to ninth place in the table and set up a potentially dramatic end to the current campaign.mkstadiumThe Dons moved to within four points of the npower League 1 play-offs on Tuesday night when they beat Swindon Town 2-0 at
Karl Robinson’s men are in great form having won four, draw one and lost one of their last six matches. The victories include the scalps of fellow promotion-chasers Tranmere Rovers, Brentford and Swindon.
However, on Saturday they come up against a Leyton Orient side that are right on their tails. Orient were not in action in midweek so head into the game looking to lick their wounds after a shock 2-0 defeat to Colchester last weekend.
Prior to that game the O’s were in a rich vein of form with only one defeat in seven games. During that strong run of results the O’s climbed up the table and had an eye on the play-offs themselves while Russell Slade was nominated for the Manager of the Month for March.
In Orient’s side there is one face particularly familiar to Dons fans – former striker Charlie MacDonald. The forward left MK1 in January before signing a short-term contract with Slade’s side. MacDonald has scored three goals in 18 games with the Brisbane Road outfit.
The O’s, though, are currently enduring a tough time with injuries and personnel – similar to that of the Dons’ in recent weeks – and Slade has lost another member of his threadbare squad ahead of the game.
Slade could only name five substitutes for the 2-1 defeat at Colchester last weekend and has since seen one of them, striker Shaun Batt, recalled from his loan spell by parent club Millwall.
Winger Lee Cook and forward David Mooney were already missing with knocks and will be assessed.
Skipper Nathan Clarke was Slade’s only recognised centre-half in Essex and was partnered by midfielder Romain Vincelot as Scott Cuthbert, Elliot Omozusi and Matheiu Baudry are all injured.
Baudry is closest to returning from a hip injury but Omozusi’s shoulder problem is likely to keep him out a while longer and Cuthbert is out for the season with a fractured metatarsal.
Meanwhile, the Dons were boosted by the return of skipper Dean Lewington in midweek. The left-back returned after three weeks out with knee ligament damage and with no subsequent setbacks Lewington looks set to retain his place.
There is, however, doubts surrounding midfielder Stephen Gleeson. The midfielder took a knock to the ankle in the first half against Swindon and despite attempts to carry on, he was forced off only minutes into the second half.
The Dons look set to once again be without goalkeeper David Martin, who is continuing his rehabilitation from a back injury which has kept him sidelined for six weeks.