Although the majority of the Dons squad will be itching to feature in tonight’s match, one player in particular is hungry for a start more than most.
That player is striker Patrick Bamford, who has started only twice since re-joining the Club on loan from Chelsea in July due an ankle injury sustained in Ireland which has kept him on the sidelines.
The talented young forward was forced off just before half-time in the Dons’ 2-0 win over St. James’ Gate last month and the 19-year-old has only lined up in the starting XI on one occasion since then.
Bamford, therefore, is eager to take his chance this evening after Robinson confirmed the hot prospect, who netted four goals in 14 appearances for the Dons last season, will lead the line up front in his youthful and exciting side.
Speaking to MK Dons Player prior to the trip to Northampton Town’s Sixfields stadium, Bamford said: “I sure am (excited), it feels like it’s been ages. I’m usually used to having only four weeks off but this time it was around eight so I’m just itching to get back playing.
“I was really happy to come back and play for the Dons this season but it was a bit disappointing, after putting in the pre-season work for the first week in Ireland, to then get smashed a few times (against St. James’ Gate) and be out for a bit.
“I missed quite a few of the games so I’ve been slowed down fitness-wise so since then I’ve just been catching up. Damo’s (Damien Doyle) tailored by match programme so I’ve got all the minutes.”
The temporary capture of Bamford earlier in the off season was warmly received by the Dons faithful, who were impressed with the youngster’s performances during his two spells at stadiummk in 2012/13.
The former Nottingham Forest trainee was equally as pleased to return to Milton Keynes this summer and is keen to get off the mark as soon as possible.
He added: “(Knowing a lot of the group) made the decision to come back here a lot easier because I wasn’t with a different bunch of lads, the guys here know what I’m about, I know what they’re about so it has been easier.
“It’ll be ideal to get off the mark tomorrow. My aim was obviously to get one against Shrewsbury but not starting and the lack of clear cut chances made that difficult so hopefully tomorrow, because I’m starting, I can grab a couple.”