Many thanks to Joe Hay aged 20 for helping us out this week and providing us with a second helping of Trash Talk and even sourcing us with a cracking photo. Also we shouldn’t forget our intrepid reporters Tom & Jon for contacting oppo fans, and looking at the numbers this is always a popular feature amongst our fans in the pre-match build up, and so far they have managed to get someone for every game, the pressure is on Tom & Jon to maintain the 100% record.
Can you give us an interesting fact about your club?
Just thought I’d start out with the fact we are currently 4/4 against MK Dons. So, it can inevitably be thrown back in my face when we get pummelled!
Who is likely to be your player to make a difference in our clash?
At the moment it’s hard to say, Chris Maguire has always been a contributing player in terms of goals and assists but doesn’t always do much else. I’d say our player of the season so far has been Grant Leadbitter who, since coming back from dealing with the loss of his mother, has looked like the player we signed back in January 2019. Since we rely on controlling the ball so much, it’s crucial that Grant is on top form.
Every club is relying on Academy players this season, who is your breakthrough player?
Denver Hume and Lynden Gooch have both been getting regular minutes for some time now so although they’ve come through the academy, I wouldn’t necessarily consider them ‘breakthrough players. The two that look most likely to breakthrough are Dan Neil and Jack Diamond – both of which looked great in pre-season but, to fans frustration, haven’t even seen much time on the bench. Another shout, now he’s back to full fitness, is Elliot Embleton. He’s back to full fitness after a hamstring injury and Parkinson seems really keen to play him once he’s back up to speed.
What sort of playing style will we see from your team?
One of the criticisms from fans have been our one-dimensional style of play. A 3-4-3 formation, we tend to aim on retaining possession when we can. The focus is usually on Hume and O’Nein to provide the width for Charlie Wyke and the two inside forwards that accompany him (usually Gooch and Maguire).
Where do you see your team finishing in the League this season?
I’ve not seen a great deal more than last season to suggest we’ll get much further up the table this time around. I’m going for a comfortable play-off place. Around 4th / 5th.
A few games in, so have you revaluated your thoughts on the season ahead?
I don’t think I ever looked forward to this season thinking we were going to be fighting right at the top. So far, I’m happy with the points accumulated so far, I’d just like to see improvements in our general play, having a bit more diversity about the way we go about moving the ball.
Who are you most concerned about in the MK Dons team?
It was clear to see throughout the summer that Scott Fraser was a key target for us up until the salary cap was introduced. It would be typical for him to pop up with a goal and for the fanbase to unreasonably complain that we didn’t sign him. Other than that, the MK defence seems to have been doing a good job this season all things considered and, although we’ve started well, we still haven’t scored more than 2 in a league game this season.
Where do you see the MK Dons finishing in the League this season?
For the possession MK seem to have each game, I’m shocked to see they rank among the lowest in the league for big chances created. This is especially considering that, on paper, the likes of Scott Fraser and Cameron Jerome especially should be more than alright at this level. I expect this to click into place at some point this season, but I don’t think anything more than mid-table is likely. But hey, prove me wrong!
Predictions for the game?
Football is unpredictable, but everything points toward this being a tight and cagey affair. It wouldn’t surprise me to see us become frustrated having less of the ball and have to almost rush into creating chances near the end of the game. Hope I’m wrong but I’m thinking it’ll be rather drab 0-0.
Who do you see as the most likely team to win the league this season?
We beat them earlier on in the season, but Peterborough are looking better every season I’ve seen them play. The signings are more than capable of playing at championship level and they’re playing football that reflects that. I know they have a habit of dropping off at some point, but I really think they’re in a good place to make a real go of it.
Any other comments?
Anyone reading, hope you are looking after yourself over lockdown, checking on your mates and keeping yourselves occupied. I look forward to a good match on Saturday and hope that sometime in the near future, we can go back to experiencing live football in Stadia to some capacity. May the best team win and best of luck for the rest of season!