Writer: Owen H
Date:Friday September 3 2010
Hartlepool travel south to MK Dons, as the two teams go head to head, Live on Sky Sports.
Home Team Focus:
At the tender age of 29 Karl Robinson is the youngest person ever to acquire a UEFA Pro License and is one of the Football Leagues youngest managers of all time. Robinson never really made it as a pro footballer and hung up his boots at the end of the 2006, 2007 campaign, he later went on to coach at the Liverpool Youth Academy, he later moved to Blackburn Rovers as a coach. Last season he followed former Blackburn Boss to MK Dons, where he received another promotion to Assistant Manager. When Paul Ince left MK Dons, Robinson was given his chance and on May 10 was appointed manager at the club. Robinson and MK Dons have got of to a bright start this season, winning 4 of the 5 games, including a League Cup win over premiership new boys Blackpool. Dons only defeat, this season, come away from home at Carlisle, where they were beaten 4-1. They currently sit 11 in the League 1 table on 6 points but have a game in hand over the majority of the League. The Dons have won all 3 of their home games so far this season and the visit of Hartlepool makes it 3 home games in a row as Robinson will look to build on early season success in front of fans and the viewing public watching on T.V. However Robinson has made it clear he does not want Saturdays game to be a flash in the pan and has stated his intent for the season by keeping hold of key players on transfer deadline day.
'We knew people would be interested in Sam because he's a talent, but there were no official approaches for him. There was more of an approach for Jermaine, but it's a 'no' for me. Keeping players like Jermaine Easter and Sam Baldock is a sign of our intent. We kept everybody we wanted to keep. They're all still here, they're all extremely happy and they can't wait for Hartlepool on Saturday.' Karl Robinson (MK Dons)
Away Team Focus:
It has been an up and down week for caretaker Pools boss Mick Wadsworth. Last weekend Wadsworth watched his side crash to a 0-5 home defeat at the hands of promotion hopefuls Sheffield Wednesday. Pools showed signs that they hadn't fully shaken off last seasons relegation battle given away cheap goals without much of a fight. Just three days later Hartlepool United took on League 2 outfit Northampton Town in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy. Anyone and everyone could be excused for assuming the worst, given the weekends display and with nightmares of last seasons efforts against Grimsby Town still lingering, surely Hartlepool`s good early season form was coming to a crashing end? Hartlepool answered their critics and gave the fans an enjoyable evening as the home-side put 4 past a very shake Northampton. Mick Wadsworth has had nothing but praise for his players in the run-up to the weekends televised game with MK Dons.
'I think MK Dons are a very good footballing team and they have a very good home record. When you're on television it adds a bit of interest and excitement so we want to put on a good performance for ourselves and the watching public. This group of players have shown that they can have a bad result and respond well and quickly, which is a sign of strong character. I think if they continue what they did on Tuesday in to Saturday then that will give us a really good chance of getting a result.' Mick Wadsworth (HUFC)
MK Dons boss Karl Robinson will have the same squad at his disposal on Saturday when Hartlepool visit Stadium MK. Robinson is still without striker Aaron Wilbraham, Midfielder Stephen Gleeson and defender Gary MacKenzie. Jude Stirling is likely to miss out on the game as he is still short of match fitness. Jermaine Easter, Sam Baldock and Jabo Ibehre are all fighting for a starting place up front, whilst Lewis Guy has also put himself in contention after an impressive display against Blackpool.
The former Hartlepool hit-man was subject to a deadline day bid from an unnamed Championship club. Last seasons 14 goals in League One was Easters highest goal tally at this level. Although he is not of the mark this season in the League he does have two cup goals to his name, making it 2 goals in 5 appearances for the Dons. If the fast striker gets the nod, there is no doubt he would like to strike against his former club.
Hartlepool's 4-0 win over Northampton Town in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy, may have come at a price as James Brown left the field of play early with an ankle injury. Caretaker boss Mick Wadsworth will leave it till Friday afternoon before making the decision on Brown. Fabian Yantorno, would be the likely replacement for Brown, who played an hour along with Ritchie Humphreys in the reserves mid-week. Sub goal-keeper Andy Raferty is a doubt for the game as he awaits x-rays on a hand injury, young keeper, Liam Mooney is on standby to replace him. Wadsworth did have some encouraging news on the injury front with Neil Austin returning to training this week but is unlikely to make the trip to MK Dons.
Adam Boyd seems to be getting back to his best this season for Hartlepool, he has started every game of the new campaign, apart from the opener at Rochdale. As he gets more time on the pitch, the fitter and sharper he seems to get as he looks to repay the faith shown in him by Mick Wadsworth. Boyd has played started the last 5 consecutive games and has scored 2 goals in all competitions. Boyd seems to relish playing the MK Dons, putting 4 goals past them in 5 appearances for Pools.
Manager Danny Wilson and striker Jermaine Easter are the only two people to be affiliated with both clubs. The first of ten meetings between the two sides came in September 2004 and this fixture both home and away has seen its fair share of goals, 31 in total, which averages out at just over 3 goals a game. The biggest score line was 4-2 to MK Dons at home and both sides have managed a 5-0 win over the other. Pools are yet to win at stadium MK and have so far racked up 2 draws and 3 defeats.
MK Dons 1 - 1 Hartlepool
MK Dons are so far undefeated at home, but have yet to keep a clean sheet in any competition. The Dons did not feature in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy in the week, so will have had plenty of time to prepare for the visit of Hartlepool. Although United will be thankful for their mid-week fixture as it enabled them to clear, the 0-5 drumming by Sheff Wed last Saturday, out of their system. Hartlepool look a much stronger unit than last season on the road and will make life difficult for MK Dons, in a game that is live on Sky Sports.
Next up for Hartlepool is the visit of Exeter City to Victoria Park.
Date:Friday September 3 2010
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Hartlepool Relegation Confirmed As Oldham Win (Tuesday April 16 2013)
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Not So Good Friday For Hartlepool (Friday March 29 2013)
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