mkdons.com details to the storylines to follow heading into Saturday's crunch clash with Fleetwood Town...
Turn a good point into a great point
The Dons stopped the rot on Wednesday by putting an end to a run of defeats with a goalless draw at Rochdale.
While they would have preferred to take all three points, the result did see them close the gap on 20th-placed Fleetwood to five points ahead of their crunch meeting this weekend in the Wyre.
If they can build on Wednesday’s draw and follow it up with a victory at Highbury Stadium then the trip to Rochdale could be viewed as the turning point for Micciche’s men in the pursuit of securing Sky Bet League One survival.
“It’s definitely something to build on,” Micciche said in his interview with iFollow MK Dons after the draw with Rochdale. “It’s a good point and if we win on Saturday, it’s a great point.”
Shutting the doors
The Dons will be based up north between now and Saturday, setting up camp and ensuring their full focus is on this weekend’s clash with the Cod Army.
The three-day stay should provide an opportunity to build some more camaraderie ahead of an important fixture and allows them little distraction in their pursuit of three vital points.
That was a sentiment shared by defender Elliott Ward, who told iFollow MK Dons: "We're in each other's pockets now for a few days. We'll have some recovery sessions, a bit of food together, chill out time together - the new boys have to sing their songs which I can’t wait for!”
Boss Micciche revealed in his post-Rochdale press conference that Chuks Aneke, Osman Sow and Peter Pawlett will travel up to join the team on Thursday, with the hope that the trio can return for Saturday’s match.
Aneke – the side’s joint top goalscorer – has missed the last two matches while Peter Pawlett has been sidelined since putting in a star performance against Portsmouth. Osman Sow has been out of action since the trip to Walsall.
Getting any one – or all – of the three injured players back for the weekend would be a real boost for Micciche. He and the Dons’ Sports Medicine and Science departments will monitor the trio closely over the 48 hours.
Ethan Ebanks-Landell is also available again following a two-match suspension.
Brittain in midfield?
With limited midfield options due to injuries and suspensions, Micciche opted to use Callum Brittain in a midfield role – a position the youngster played in during his time in the Academy with the now-Dons manager.
Brittain impressed during his 16 minutes on the pitch and his forward runs created a number of opportunities for the Dons to break the deadlock.
His manager, Micciche, said: “I thought Callum Brittain did well in there when he came on. I've always known Callum as a midfield player so I had no qualms about putting him in midfield tonight. He needs to know I'm not going to see him just as a right back – we need players to be versatile when we've got so many out.”
While it is unlikely that he will start in midfield at the weekend, it does demonstrate the versatility of Micciche’s squad which will be vital during a busy end to the season.
MK Dons travel to Fleetwood Town on Saturday for a crunch Sky Bet League One clash at Highbury Stadium.
Tickets are now ONLY available from Highbury Stadium and can be purchased from £22 adults, £17 seniors, £10 students/under-18s and £5 under-16s while under-5s go FREE. There is a £2 price increase for tickets in the seated section.