No underestimating Newport County as they make Stadium MK debut

Less than two weeks after their first ever league meeting, MK Dons and Newport County are crossing paths again this Saturday at Stadium MK.

Dons were victorious last week at Rodney Parade, but both sides have had huge games since. While Dons were 3-2 winners against Carlisle on Saturday, Michael Flynn’s side had a Hollywood FA Cup clash against Manchester City.

While the Premier League leaders were 4-1 winners in South Wales, Newport bounced back on Tuesday night as they reversed the scoreline against bottom club Notts County.

Jamille Matt, who squandered several chances at Rodney Parade in the 1-0 defeat to Dons, found the net twice, with Padraig Amond and Fraser Franks sealing the deal against Neil Ardley’s basement side.

Dons head into this Saturday’s game sitting fourth in the table, two points from automatic promotion, while Newport’s win on Tuesday sees them 15th in League 2.

But despite their league position, Dons boss Paul Tisdale says his side cannot take County for granted.

“We cannot underestimate Newport,” he said. “They had a really good win on Tuesday. The upside of playing twice in a week, which they have done recently, if you hit a groove you’re in it. The downside is that there’s a lot of football.

“They play a particular way, they’re hard to beat, play some really really good attacking football at times. They got a really good result in the week, so I don’t want to take anything for granted.”

Dons head into the game off the back of two consecutive away wins, one of which was against Newport, launching them back into the top four. After making some fundamental changes to his side for those wins, Tisdale said he is pleased his players have been receptive to his changes.

He said: “It’s satisfying to get the results of course, but it’s pleasing to see how the players have acknowledged the challenges. I’ve asked them to do certain things and they have, and we’ve got results from it. They have really tried to do those things I’ve asked. “It wasn’t bad enough to question everything. We had a poor run but we were still in a good position in the league and you can see how much things can change in a week. We knew if we put a couple of results together, things can change very quickly. The challenge, as always, is the next game, the next few games and turning good results into more.