Shots Prepare For MK Dons Test

Karl Robinson’s MK Dons are expected to bring a strong squad to the EBB Stadium to face The Shots this Saturday.

The Dons are rebuilding following relegation to League One and have bought well thus far, with Robinson focussing on quality rather than quantity.

Several of his summer signings, including midfielder Ed Upson, who joined from Ipswich in June, and defenders George Williams and Paul Downing – who arrived from Barnsley and Walsall, respectively – may feature, alongside striker Nicky Maynard, who has recently finalised details of a new contract.

Two Dons stalwarts, goalkeeper David Martin and club captain Dean Lewington – who has played every season for the team in Milton Keynes – might also be part of the squad. Familiar faces, in Giorgio Rasulo and Kabongo Tshimanga, could return to the EBB Stadium after loan spells with The Shots in the last 18 months, the latter of whom has just completed a further loan with Icelandic club Throttur Reykjavik.

Striker Ben Reeves scored two in Tuesday’s friendly victory against Corby Town – their sixth game in eight days – as The Dons continued their busy pre-season preparations. The squad began with three games in three days in Dublin, against St James’s Gate, Drogheda United and Tranmere Rovers – with whom they drew 3-3 – before last weekend’s double-header, with matches against Cambridge City (3-1 defeat) and St Ives Town (1-1) on Saturday afternoon.

Gary Waddock expects “one hell of a work-out, in terms of fitness” against the club with whom he was Head of Coaching between June 2013 and March 2014. “I know MK Dons very well, the manager and his backroom staff are fantastic people and they’ve done a wonderful job there. I know how they play their football and what they are about. They’ll be looking to bounce back (to the Championship) and it will be a tough, tough game for us.

“These are three games against three tough opponents,” he continued, with Wycombe Wanderers and Crawley Town also visiting the EBB Stadium next week. “But they are three games that we’re all looking forward to. We have to get the preparation right for the early part of the season, and that is the key – it will be about hitting the ground running when it really matters.”

Admission for all three games is £10 each for adults and £5 for concessions (under 16, over 65), with children under 11 admitted free when accompanied by a paying adult. Disabled supporters and their carer will be admitted at a combined price of £5. Access is via turnstiles 7-10 at the High Street end of the ground. All supporters will be housed in the North Stand.