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Match Previews

MK Dons FA Cup Preview

5 December 2014

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The Spireites travel to Stadium MK on Saturday in the second round of the FA Cup, dreaming of a place in the third round.

The Dons will take on the Spireites aiming to reach the third round of the competition for the fourth successive season, a record contrasted by the away team's recent cup runs, which have seen them fall at the second FA Cup hurdle in the last two seasons. 

Saturday's hosts come into the game in a rich vein of form, moving a point off the league summit - with a game still in hand - after Tuesday night's 1-0 win at Sheffield United.

There was a further accolade for the flying Dons on the eve of the match as on Friday morning winger Carl Baker was crowned November's Sky Bet League 1 player of the month.

However, MK will be forced to play without Danny Green who was sent off late in the match at Bramall Lane for a second yellow card.

The hosts' defence has been the bedrock of their success the season, keeping 11 clean sheets to date - though in their last home game against Colchester United, A Benik Afobe hat-trick helped show their attack is also to be feared, as they saw off the U's in a 6-0 rout.

In visiting team news, skipper Ian Evatt is out of the starting line-up, while fellow defender Sam Hird has come back into squad contention having trained well over the week.

Georg Margreitter is pushing for a starting berth in Evatt's absence and is eligible having been given the all clear to play from his club Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Finally, in a much-changed defence, left back Dan Jones is suspended and will serve the first of his three-game ban on Saturday.

Speaking to Spireites Player ahead of the fixture, manager Paul Cook promised the large contingent of away day Spireites that his side would set up to get through to the third round at the first attempt.

He said: "We're going to go down backed by a large number of travelling fans again, and that's a great credit to them. 

"They're going there to see their side win a game and I can promise them that we'll be doing our best to win it for them."

Cook revealed that skipper Ian Evatt had been training this week after his injury against Crawley Town last Saturday. However, he is struggling to be back in time for the match.
Cook said: "Ian won't make the game. He got stitches underneath the stitches. We've been advised not to play him and the liklihood is that we'll put him on the bench tomorrow.

"That's a disappointment because the back four have been playing well together. They have been on an unbeaten run and haven't conceded many goals. It results in us making changes tomorrow that we don't really want to make."

The teams have already locked horns at the Proact Stadium this term, when the Dons ground out a tough 1-0 League 1 win, and Cook has had plenty of opportunities to watch tomorrow's opponents of late.

He said: "I've seen MK Dons play twice in the last week. I saw them play Rochdale at home and then at Sheffield United on Tuesday night. They're obviously a team in very good form, playing with a lot of confidence and they're a good side.

"Their manager is very knowledgeable, they have a great stadium and we'll be going there to give a great day out for our fans, made all the better if we can win a football match."

Cook feels the secret of the Dons' success lies in their recent continuity and is well aware of the task at hand if the Spireites are going to progress.

The manager said: "I just think Karl's got that stability from having been at the club for a few years. That gives the players confidence in the manager and the manager's obviously got confidence in his players as well.

"If you look at Darren Potter for example, they're very established players. You might say that they've good League 1 players, if you're pushing me I'd say they're better than that.

"All in all, we're playing against a very strong side, but I don't believe it taking steps backwards. When we go there tomorrow we're going to take the game to MK Dons and we're going to try and win the game."

You can follow the match on Saturday via live full match commentary on Spireites Player, through score updates on Facebook or by following minute-by-minute coverage on Twitter @chesterfieldfc.

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