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Karl: Wigan tie a wonderful opportunity

9 December 2013

Karl Robinson says MK Dons’ Third Round draw with Wigan Athletic is a ‘wonderful opportunity’ for his players to test themselves against the current FA Cup holders.

Robinson’s side were paired with the Latics on Sunday evening, after they had booked their place in the Third Round with a 1-0 victory over Dover Athletic the previous day. 

Wigan became FA Cup champions for the first time in their history at the end of last season following a memorable win over Manchester City at Wembley Stadium

And the Dons’ 33-year-old manager, is excited at the prospect of taking on the holders as they begin their defence of their title in the New Year.

Speaking to mkdons.com, the Liverpudlian said: “People will obviously look at it in different ways but, whatever way you do want it to look at it, we are playing the current FA Cup holders. It’s a wonderful opportunity.

“It’ll be a good test for us because they’ve still got some wonderful players and their squad is full of international players. They’ve also got some of the best young strikers in Nick Powell and Will Keane; although we’re not sure if they’ll be eligible to play.

“They’re in transition at the moment, as well, but we’re playing against somebody who knows us really well in Uwe Rosler. He won’t see us as an unknown quantity because of the battles we’ve had with him over the last two or three seasons – they’ve been very even.

“I can imagine there being over 10 or 12,000 there so it won’t be a bad payday for us. It’s obviously not the glamour tie that some of the fans were hoping for but it’s big enough for us and we’re looking forward to it.”

Both sides have had made stuttering starts to their respective League campaigns, with the Dons currently 12th in League 1 and the Latics eight places above the drop zone in the Championship.

Robinson, though, is confident his side has what it takes to top their higher division opponents and cause another memorable cup upset.

He added: “We feel we can cause an upset, obviously. It’s a Cup competition we’re fond of and we’ve caused upsets consistently. They’ll also see it as a home draw against a League 1 side, so we’ll both look at it in a positive light.

“Last time I went there it was Paul Ince’s last ever game for Blackburn and Antonio Valencia was excellent that day and scored two in the first 20 minutes. We got beat 3-0 in the end so I don’t have happy memories of the last time I was there, but hopefully I can change that next month.”

A date for the fixture, along with ticket details, have yet to be confirmed but mkdons.com will have the latest once they are.

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