The last time Lincoln City hosted Milton Keynes Dons was on 4th April 2008 in League Two. Milton Keynes left Sincil Bank with all three points that day (1-2), in front of a crowd of 3,896. Today, there will be over 9,000 inside Sincil Bank.
Earlier on in the 2007/08 season, Milton Keynes hammered The Imps 4-0 at Stadium MK, in what was John Schofield’s last game in charge following a poor run of results.
Ahead of today’s game, we would like to thank Matt, John and Blodwyn (published in this order) for answering our questions. The answers have been published on three separate pages, with the link to the next page being at the bottom on the right-hand side.
First up, Matt:
How long have you supported Milton Keynes Dons?
I started following when Wimbledon arrived and got a season ticket when we moved to Stadium:MK in 2007.
Where did you finish last season?
The dark depths of League One.
What do you think of your Manager?
Tisdale has made a positive start. He has already succeeded in solidifying the defence and making us hard to beat. After two relegations in three seasons, this was the priority.
Our 1-1 home draw with Forest Green at the weekend – in which we were thoroughly outplayed – raised a few tentative questions about the style of football he will serve up. We were stodgy and defensive. If this cautiousness is part of a transition towards more attacking football, that’s fine. But Dons fans may become slightly restless if it’s as good as we’re going to get.
What are your hopes and expectations for this season?
I hope for automatic promotion and expect a top-seven finish.
One(s) to watch?
Chuks Aneke. Injury problems have prevented the former Arsenal youngster playing at a higher level. Most expected him to leave this summer – including Chuks himself, who didn’t feature in August as he angled for a move to Bolton. It never materialised and he’s back in the team until January, at least. He’s a brick outhouse with skills and should do damage at this level.
Elsewhere, Callum Brittain will play at right wing-back. He’s another academy product and an England U20 player.
Who do you think will finish in the top 7?
In no particular order: Lincoln City, Milton Keynes Dons, Colchester United, Yeovil Town, Forest Green Rovers, Exeter City and Bury.
Who do you think will finish in the bottom 2?
Macclesfield Town and Morecambe.
What are your thoughts on Lincoln City?
Ominous opposition and a coach destined for big things.
What do you think the score will be?
2-1 to Lincoln.
What will your likely default formation and style of play be for this season?
Tisdale has favoured 3-5-2 so far and that looks set to continue.
Random fact about your Club?
We’re big in Ukraine. Max from Kharkiv – a fan since ’88 – is flying over for the game on Saturday.
If you could steal one Lincoln City player for your own team, who would it be and why?
Lee Frecklington. Good name, good player.
What are your proudest and most embarrassing moments as a Milton Keynes Dons Supporter?
Proud moment(s): Seeing Dele Alli flourish.
Embarrassing moment: When Pete Winkelman appointed Dan Micciche in January 2018 to lead a long-term project, only to sack him in April 2018 for short-term results. That was the first time I seriously questioned the competence of those in the boardroom, which I suppose is another step on the path to being a ‘proper club’.
Who would you say is your most underrated player?
Joe Walsh has been sturdy in the back-three.
Do you have a Supporters Trust and what role do they play at the Club?
There is a supporters’ association that acts as a link between club and fans. I’m not personally involved but they seem active on match days – there’s a lot going on for young fans.
Which was your favourite match involving Milton Keynes Dons?
MK Dons 4 – 0 Manchester United. We were dancing on the roundabouts that night.
Which was your least favourite match involving Milton Keynes Dons?
Losing to Peterborough in the 2011 playoffs was a tough one. Although they don’t like to admit it, there is a bit of a rivalry between us.
Edds, Lewington, Andrews, Dyer, Wilbraham, McLeod, Platt. Discuss.
Lovely, lovely nostalgia. Ever-present Lewington is still here and will be plodding up and down the left flank on Saturday.
stadium:MK – has it been the off the pitch success that was intended i.e. concerts, international games etc?
Yes. A few years ago JLS played at the stadium. Next year it is part of Rod Stewart’s tour, which means things are moving in the right direction, I think. On the sporting side, we’ve had European rugby matches, Under-21s and women’s international football. And darts.
If you could build the stadium again, what would you add/remove from a supporters perspective?
A few more people would be nice but on the whole, we can’t complain. It might be a soulless dome, but at least it’s an architecturally interesting soulless dome. It has more about it than Reading, Derby, the Ricoh, and the rest of the 30,000-capacity identikit grounds.
Do you have any/many fans who were originally Wimbledon fans or are they nearly all newbie MK Dons fans who started supporting the team when they were formed?
Yes, there are original Wimbledon fans. It’s difficult to say how many but I would estimate about 100 that attend regularly.
I used to work in MK and was always impressed with the lengths the club went to engage with the community and also all of the community events the club put on. A good model for a lower league club. Has this continued in recent years and what benefits has it brought?
This touches on the paradox at the heart of MK Dons. The aspect of the Wimbledon move that draws a particularly emotional response is the idea that MK Dons stole a club from its community. And yet, once in Milton Keynes, the club has, as you say, been a model for lower-league community engagement.
The club is still very active in the community. This month 500 people were at the stadium for a disability awards night that the coaching staff and a few players attended. The club’s reach should increase further when a new training ground – which has been in the pipeline for a while – is completed.
It’s hard to say what the tangible benefits are, but there’s no doubt that it’s an important part of the club’s role and something to be proud of.
Has the hostility towards the club from fans of other teams lessened over the years, or is it still pretty much the same?
A vocal minority are hostile. Most are ambivalent. I haven’t been called a ‘Franchise ****’ since our 2014/15 promotion season so the moral standards of football league fans must be slipping.
I am always intrigued when foreign players end up in League Two – what’s the story behind Ousseynou Cisse and Weiger Sietsma and are they any good?
I have no idea how they ended up in Milton Keynes. But Cisse, a Mali international, is good fun. He has become something of a fans’ favourite this season and is revelling in this rather odd turn of events. Look out for his party-piece: needlessly rolling the ball back and forth with his studs before playing a simple pass.
Sietsma is the third-choice ‘keeper. He had a run in the team last season after No.1 Lee Nicholls punched the crossbar upon conceding a fifth goal at Wigan, resulting in a broken hand.
Do you miss the former National Hockey Stadium (now a Network Rail offices site) and do you actually own or are in debt for the current stadium?
I miss the city-centre location. But our current home is a much better place to watch football.
— Vital Lincoln City (@VitalLincoln) September 22, 2018