With Brighton & Hove Albion’s opponents for the 2015/16 Championship season now confirmed, the club’s media team will take a look at the Seagulls’ 23 opponents for the next campaign.
The 16th team to feature in our opposition focus series is Milton Keynes Dons.
LEAGUE POSITION: 2nd (League One)
FA CUP: Second round
LEAGUE CUP: Fourth round
TOP GOALSCORER: William Grigg (22)
2014/15 SEASON REVIEW
Milton Keynes Dons enjoyed a fine 2014/15 season which saw Karl Robinson’s men earn promotion to the Championship for the first time in the club’s short history.
Playing a brand of attractive, passing football, the Dons were top scorers in League One with a total of 101 goals and pipped eventual play-off winners Preston North End to the second automatic promotion place with 91 points.
Robinson’s side made a fine start to the campaign by winning six of their opening eight games in all competitions, including a stunning 4-0 win over Manchester United in the Capital One Cup second round.
The Buckinghamshire side continued to display their goalscoring prowess throughout the first half of the season with 6-1, 6-0 and 7-0 wins over Crewe Alexandra, Colchester United and Oldham Athletic respectively. The win against Oldham was the first time that the club had ever scored seven goals in one game.
The Dons were eliminated in the second round stage of the FA Cup following a 1-0 defeat to Chesterfield at the second time of asking, after the Spireites fielded an ineligible player in the first fixture.
Promotion to the Championship was clinched on the final day of the season with a 5-1 win over relegated Yeovil Town at Stadium mk. The result bettered Preston’s 1-0 defeat to Colchester United and second-tier football was secured.
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LAST TIME WE MET:
MK DONS 1
O'Hanlon S/O 67
Ten-man MK Dons secured a narrow 1-0 victory over Albion and ended a three-match winning streak for the League One leaders.
David Powell scored the decisive goal in the 27th minute after tapping the ball home on the rebound after Sean O’Hanlon’s header cannoned off the post.
But O’Hanlon was given his marching orders midway through the second half when he received his second yellow card for a late challenge on Glenn Murray.
Despite a sustained spell of Albion pressure in the closing stages, the hosts held on to claim their first win at Stadium mk in five games.
MK Dons line-up: Martin; Kouo-Doumbe, MacKenzie, O'Hanlon, Lewington; Chadwick, Gleeson, Leven, Marsh-Brown (Hughes 78); Vine (Baldock 79), Powell(Ibehre 74)
Subs not used: Searle (GK), Stirling, Chicksen, Guy
Albion line-up: Ankergren; Calderon (Sparrow 75), Greer, El-Abd, Painter (Taricco 84) ; Bennett, Bridcutt, Dicker; Wood, Murray, Barnes (Sandaza 54).
Subs not used: Brezovan (GK), Elphick, Baz, Holroyd.
Following spells coaching at Liverpool’s academy and at Blackburn Rovers, Karl Robinson joined MK Dons to be Paul Ince’s assistant manager.
He was appointed manager in May 2010 and is, at 34, one of the youngest managers in the Football League.
Robinson has led the team to top-half finishes in each of his five full seasons in charge, culminating with leading the team to automatic promotion in 2014/15.
With a young and vibrant squad, the feel-good factor is definitely at Stadium mk, but investment is needed for the club to establish itself in the Championship.
Manager Karl Robinson highlighted this when his side’s promotion to the second tier of English football was confirmed.
William Grigg was one of the Dons’ best players last season after joining the team on a season-long loan deal from Brentford and he fired in 22 goals.
The Football League’s Young Player of the Year Dele Alli will also need to be replaced after moving to Tottenham Hotspur, along with Chelsea midfielder Lewis Baker, who arrived on loan last season.
Strengthening in these areas will be key if MK Dons are to carry on their impressive momentum next season.
See Albion v Milton Keynes Dons at the Amex plus 22 other opponents from as low as £20.22 per game by purchasing a season ticket for 2015/16.