Karl Robinson says he and his players fully understand the importance of this weekend’s clash with Swindon Town.
Robinson’s men, fourth in the table, are currently one point behind Swindon, so a victory in Wiltshire would see them leapfrog their rivals and possibly, with second-placed Preston North End facing a tough clash against Rochdale, close the gap on the top two.
“We know the importance of this game,” Robinson told the media. “We are not building it up or building it down because the league table will tell you how big it is - we’re so excited by it now.
“I am really excited about Saturday and it can’t come soon enough. These games are wars from now until the end of the season and I love that - it’s what we do our job for and it’s what the fans want.”
The Dons will have been without a competitive fixture for two weeks when they kick-off at the County Ground on Saturday, and Robinson believes the recent break will prove beneficial, with his players now itching to get back on the pitch.
“This group are ready to compete once again. They are like caged tigers to an extent and the cage has got a big lock on it at the moment. There is a strength to them at the moment and we have to make sure that when we let them go, we do it in the right way.”
Robinson has been a dealt a blow ahead of Saturday’s clash with the news that midfielder Ben Reeves, who has scored four goals in his last nine games, will miss the remainder of the season with a calf injury.
However, the Dons boss has been boosted by the return of teenage sensation Dele Alli, who is fit and available once again after a lengthy lay-off due to an ankle problem – the 18-year-old has netted an impressive 14 times this season.
“Dele is the best player in the league, I believe that and he needs to believe that too because he needs to challenge himself now more than ever. He needs to keep his feet on the ground, but he is and will.
“If he wants to achieve the goals his ability should allow him to, he now needs to really push on. We all know Dele inside out. He just loves playing football and football for MK Dons at the moment.”
Tickets for the clash with Swindon Town are now only available to buy on the day at the County Ground, priced at £27 for adults, £19 for senior and U18s and £12 for U16s.