MK Dons travel to Hertfordshire this evening to take on Stevenage in a Johnstone’s Paint Trophy Round 2 clash.
, which came courtesy of goals from Patrick Bamford and Dele Alli. Tonight’s hosts, Stevenage, were one of four teams in the South East section to receive a bye in the opening round.mkstadiumKarl Robinson’s side booked their place in this round of the competition with a comfortable 2-0 win over local rivals Northampton Town at
The Dons come into the match on the back of only their third defeat of the season, a 3-2 loss away at Gillingham. Robinson’s men, who were reduced to ten men early on after Tom Flanagan was sent off, fought back from two goals down only to be beaten by a second half header from on-loan Charlton midfielder Danny Hollands.
The men from MK1, though, still occupy a pretty comfortable position in Sky Bet League 1 and are currently enjoying a rich vein of goal-scoring form. The Dons have scored 10 goals in their last four games and four of those came against Stevenage when the two sides met in the League just ten days ago.
That win saw the Boro condemned to their sixth defeat of the campaign, a total which was added to this past weekend then Graham Westley’s side were beaten 1-0 by an in-form Coventry City. The Hertfordshire club, at the moment, sit just one place above the foot of the table, which is largely down to their poor form in front of goal.
Stevenage have only managed to find the back of the net ten times in all competitions this season, a total which is less than striker Patrick Bamford has tallied alone this year. Dons boss Robinson, however, is still expecting a tough test.
Speaking ahead of the game, he said: “They felt they should have won 4-3 here so they’ll go into this game very positive. I’ve got total respect for that Football Club and, like I say every time we play them, for them to come from Conference football to be sustainable where they are now should be applauded
“We are very buoyant, though, and I’m going to put the strongest team that is fit out. People will be playing out of position and there will be re-shuffles but we’re going into this game with nine players out. We have one or two options and I will rest one player but other than it will be a matter of whose fit.
“One thing we will look to do is try and score as many goals as possible over the next few games. We’re going to be attacking, positive, on the front foot and hopefully we’ll be exciting for everyone turning up at the Lamex on Tuesday night.”
Karl Robinson has lengthy absentee list to deal with ahead of tonight’s trip to Stevenage, with eight first team players either ruled out or doubts.
Antony Kay (hip), David Martin (calf), Dean Bowditch (hip), Dele Alli (ankle), Jon Otsemobor (groin) will miss the trip through injury while defender Tom Flanagan will serve his one-match suspension following his sending off at the weekend.
George Baldock is doubt following a chest injury sustained in training but right-back Lee Hodson will definitely not feature having been called up to Northern Ireland squad ahead of this weekend’s World Cup qualifiers. Winger Danny Green has also returned to parent club Charlton Athletic following the completion of his loan spell.
However, the many absentees will allow several others the chance to impress, with Ian McLoughlin, Ben Reeves, Izale McLeod and Jason Banton all pushing for starts. Winger Daniel Powell will also be hoping to make the starting XI for the first time this season.
Robinson has also hinted that he’ll experiment with a different formation against Stevenage tonight.