Q & A: Milton Keynes Dons
After experiencing a dire, outrageously bad opening day of the season - Swindon turn their attentions to the League Cup with a trip to Milton Keynes Dons.
The Dons were held to a home 0-0 draw against Hartlepool United so will be looking to improve on that!
We talk to MKTD of the MKDONSFORUM.ORG
1) Paul Ince is back... Obviously this has pleased many of your fans after the loss of Roberto Di Matteo. Do you feel that Paul Ince is capable of repeating the form that earned him the Blackburn Rovers job?
Yes I do. He did a tremendous job at Macclesfield against all the odds, keeping them in the Football League and again proved his ability with us first time round. Since his return he has made clever signings, organised the squad well and brought a buzz back to MK.
2) How was Pre-Season?
Reasonable. The first couple of games we played Windsor and then Hampton and Richmond with teams made up of trialists. The final two games saw us play full strength sides for a 1-0 win over PRem new boys Wolves and a 3-1 beating of our local rivals the Cobblers.
3) Transfers: Who has arrived at Stadium:MK over the summer? Are you happy?
Loads and loads of new signings. I've lost count but think its about 12 we've made. Stephen Gleeson from Wolves and Jermaine Easter from Plymouth were the stand out ones for me. But bringing Puncheon back on a season long loan was good as well.
4) Transfers: Who has left?
We released five under Di Matteo. Mark Wright is now at Brighton with Allan Navarro. Carl Regan has gone to Bristol Rovers whilst Tore Andre Flo has retired once again. Jemal Johnson was released but re-signed under Ince (and then scored a hat-trick against Nothampton)
5) What are your realistic hopes for the 2009/10 campaign?
Based on the fact that we finished comfortably in third last season and have strengthened the squad since, we should be aspiring towards the automatic spots. But its not that simple. Leeds and Charlton will be big threats and Huddersfield and Brighton have spent money. I think a play off place is realistic.
6) Sean O'Hanlon is injured how big of a loss will he be?
Huge. He's a quality player who should be in the Championship. That being said we've just signed former Paris St Germain defender Mattias Doumbe as a replacement.
7) Who is your most important player likely to face Swindon?
Dean Lewington (captain) is ill at the moment. If he is fit then it would be him for me. Lewington is an inspirational left back who turns defence into attack so often.
8) Town manager Danny Wilson managed MK Dons between December 2004 and the summer of 2006. What was his tenure like?
It was difficult to be honest. He was quite well respected but joined us at a difficult time. There was little money for players and many problems off the pitch. He did save us from relegation (just) the first season but then we were relegated the following year and he got sacked.
9) Due to the whole franchise business and sharing divisions for the majority of your existance a little bit of a rivalry occurred between our two clubs, do you think that still exists?
I think it was quite a lot of rivalry. Look, we'll always carry the stigma of the move and I'm sure that some of your fans will be reminding us of that when we meet. We usually take it in good heart and give as good as we get.
10) As mentioned significant amount of supporters across England still share an intense disliking for Milton Keynes Dons along with magazines such as When Saturday Comes still not recognising the club. Have things improved? Are the club and fans still largely derided?
Honestly - Question 1 - Yes and Question 2 - No.
I've travelled to away games round the country and very rarely have I encountered too many problems. The fans and the players had nothing to do with what happened but accept its something that will always be raised. What happened can never again take place because the rules have been changed and the MK Dons are here to stay. More and more people are choosing to move on now.
11) What do you think the future holds for MK Dons?
We have a fantastic stadium, a solid business plan, talented squad and huge potential fanbase. I would like to think we can establish ourselves as a Championship side in the next couple of years
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