Rotherham United will be the opponents in the Dons’ first Sky Bet Championship fixture – a club who Karl Robinson’s side will be looking to emulate in 2015/16, according to the boss.
“Rotherham is a great one to start with,” Robinson told mkdons.com “They’ve set the benchmark having stayed in the Championship the year after gaining promotion and our aim has to be to try and emulate that, in terms of sustaining ourselves in the Championship.
“They will be a much better team to the one we played a couple of years back - I’m really excited.”
Next on the schedule is a home clash against a Preston North End side whom the Dons pipped to second spot in League 1 last season – the Lilywhites, however, were later promoted via the play-offs.
“Preston is our first game at home in the Championship which is quite ironic considering how last season ended. They were also the last team we lost to and imagine being told after that game that the next time we’d play each other would be our first home game in the division above.
“We are happy to be playing them again because they are a wonderful team and they will, no doubt, be looking to compete once again.”
While fixture release day is an exciting one for supporters, players, Liverpudlian Robinson, who will begin his sixth season in charge at stadiummk next season, isn’t one to get too caught up in the occasion.
He said: “It’s exciting for the fans but I’m just concentrating on trying to help the team compete at this level. It will be harder to stay in the Championship than it was to get out of League 1 because we are coming up against some top managers and really talented players.
“We understand it’s going to be difficult but we’ve earned the right to be here and now we’ve got to believe that we belong. We aren’t going to underestimate it but we are going to try and enjoy it – it’s a great opportunity and we don’t want to let it pass us by.”
He continued: “The fans deserve this because they are unbelievable. They’ve dealt with all the criticism over the years and now their team will be competing in the fourth biggest league in the world - we want to build a team to make them proud of us.
“The lads are back in a couple of weeks and then we’ll be focusing on the job in hand, which starts with Rotherham - let the rollercoaster begin!”
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