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Karl: Crewe a tough opponent

19 March 2013

Karl Robinson is fully aware of the challenge his side will face when they take on Crewe Alexandra this evening.

The Dons come into tonight’s game looking to record back-to-back League victories for the first time in 2013, having convincingly defeated Tranmere Rovers on Saturday afternoon.

The men from MK1 lie nine points adrift of the play-off places with a respective amount of games still to be played, but a win against the Alex could see them close that gap to just six.

Robinson, though, is conscious of how difficult an opponent Crewe will be as his team search for an important win that could lift them back into the top-half of League 1.

The Liverpudlian manager said: “Crewe are a good footballing side and they are based on very strong principles and philosophies.

“I think Dario Gradi, in footballing terms, is somebody that will go down as a legend for what he’s done with that football club. The fans and the players are very well educated in the ‘Crewe way’ and I spent a large part of my seven-year coaching career coming up against Crewe teams of all ages – and they all play the same way.

“Steve Davis has done very well since he’s taken over and I’m sure it was a Dario decision to appoint him. Steve knows the club inside out and since he’s taken over they’ve gone on a wonderful run.

“Mathias Pogba is going away on international duty after our game, AJ Leitch-Smith is a very good player and Luke Murphy is up there as one of the best midfielders in the League. They have some talented players in their squad and they are a side who can compete with anybody on any given day.

“We’re looking forward to going there. It’s one of three difficult away trips for us along with Colchester and Hartlepool but if we can come back from all of them with three points, teams will start paying attention to us.”

If the Dons are to grind out a second successive victory then they’ll have to do it without a quartet of David Martin, Dean Lewington, Luke Chadwick, and Daniel Powell after all four players were ruled out through injury yesterday.

Despite the injury list, though, Robinson feels his side still boasts enough quality to get the job done at the Alexandra Stadium tonight.

“Dean Lewington’s had an injection to try and calm his knee down and we’ll assess it over the next 48 hours but we’ll be out for tonight. Daniel Powell will also miss out, as well as Luke Chadwick and David Martin.

“But, I still think we’ve got tremendous quality in the squad. Ian McLoughlin’s done a wonderful job and we’ve got Patrick Bamford back fit now. Having Stephen Gleeson back is a big bonus for us too.

“I’m hoping to have Powelly back for Saturday, though, which would be a massive boost for us and I’m also keeping my fingers crossed that Luke Chadwick will be back two weeks ahead of schedule.

“This whole season’s been frustrating, with all the injuries and results that haven’t match what we’ve deserved. We’re such a good side and I saw that Saturday and I’ve seen that a lot over recent months.”

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