Russell Martin is excited for the challenge of facing in-form Sunderland in front of a bumper crowd at Stadium MK.
MK Dons welcome the Black Cats to Milton Keynes on Saturday in search of their third straight home victory, while the Wearside club could make it four wins from five with a triumph.
“They've picked up under Phil Parkinson,” Martin noted in his pre-match press conference.
“Phil is a really good manager who knows the league and always has his teams organised. They’re a completed different team to when we played them earlier in the season but so are we.
“I expect it to be a really good game. Sunderland are huge in terms of their support and fanbase, but I prefer those game and I think the players do too. It will create a great atmosphere and our fans often thrive off having a big away end too.
“We've played some good teams here and we’ve got some good results. Hopefully we can get another one on Saturday.
“We have real respect for them, and I think they will be right up there come the end of the season, but we have to go to try and win the game.”
The Dons go into the weekend three points above the bottom three in Sky Bet League One, looking to increase that gap by securing a result over Sunderland.
Martin says the team are fully aware of their perilous position but prefer to focus on the positives in a bid to climb the table.
“We have to be aware of the threat and we have to be realistic about where we are but we don't focus on it, because I genuinely believe, if we stick to what we're doing, we will keep our position in this league - and that is our only aim, to be in this league next season.
“I have real belief and confidence in what we want to do, and what gives me more confidence is how they've adapted to it.”
Tickets for Saturday's clash with Sunderland are priced at £22 adults, £17 seniors and £7 under-18s while under-12s go FREE with an accompanying adult.
Supporters can upgrade to premium seats in the East Centre for a £5 premium while an upgrade to clubRed is just £10 more.
To book tickets click HERE, visit the Box Office at Stadium MK or call 0333 200 5343.