MK Dons boss Karl Robinson wants to give the FA Cup with Budweiser clash with Barnsley this weekend the respect he feels the competition deserves.
Article by Stephen Fletcher
With the Dons never having reached the fifth round before, the home tie against the Championship side has the manager and the players excited and Robinson is delighted that the team is competing at this stage of the competition.
The Cup has always had a special affiliation with the Liverpudlian, who reflected on some of his FA Cup highlights, as he looks to guide the Dons further into the record books and make history of their own this Saturday.
Speaking ahead of the game, he said: “It’s the 25th anniversary of Wimbledon beating Liverpool I was told today and obviously we played AFC Wimbledon in the second round this year.
“But that also took me back to Hillsborough and the scenes of my worst FA Cup memory but now we’ve got a chance to get this club breaking a record and getting into the quarter final.
“You know what the competition means to me, I love it, and I’ve got a picture up on my wall in one of my rooms at home with my daughters holding the FA Cup. It means a lot to me that we can compete at this level and I’m looking forward to playing Barnsley and hopefully the best team wins.
“We had a wonderful League Cup run, we beat Blackburn, and then with Sunderland we just fell short and now we’ve have a wonderful FA Cup run and I want to give it the respect it deserves.”
Whilst he also admitted that the excellent cup run has interfered with the league performance, he pointed out that that is inevitable with the smaller teams, saying: “I’ve spoken to other managers and I’ve asked why it happens.
“You look at the four clubs; Bradford in their cup run, Oldham, ourselves and Luton and the only team that won a league game around the run was Oldham, and that was when they brought in three new players, and it was against us.”
Despite acknowledging that, it has taken nothing away from his desire to get as far as possible in the FA Cup and is eager to take this opportunity, as he knows what a big advert for the club the cup can be.
“With all that’s gone on in this year the FA Cup writes wonderful headlines and stories that you don’t even have to think up in the media; they’re just there in black and what. This year it has done that for us and Saturday will be a great game to be involved in. I don’t want to miss this opportunity.
“It’s not a hope that fans will turn up, it’s a need. We need to be galvanised by them, we need to be inspired by them and I hope we can do that. I hope they give us the opportunity to perform to the levels that we know we can and we’re looking forward to it and we can’t wait.”