Manager Mark Bonner expects there will be a “different dynamic” in Cambridge United’s trip to MK Dons on Saturday.
The U’s had been soundly beaten 6-0 and 4-1 in their previous two visits to MK Stadium, having faced a home side on every occasion who were fighting for promotion.
However, this time around the Dons find themselves trapped in the scrap for Sky Bet League One’s survival alongside United.
The two sides cannot currently be separated by 30 points and are four points from safety, leaving Bonner to acknowledge there is “pressure” on both sides for what could be a decisive victory.
“It’s a game we have to go and attack and try to win and they will be in exactly the same boat,” he said. “Being at home we know that adds extra pressure. The pressure is on them to win and we have the same intention on us, but they will obviously have the local support to put them under that extra pressure.
“They’re going to have to deal with that and I think we’ll have close to 2,000 (fans) there, which is great. We’ve had two horrible trips there in recent seasons, but the difference this year is that both teams have had a very difficult year. While we’ve been in the years We had a tough team that was on the way to promotion and got promoted in one of those – and we almost went up last season.
“It’s definitely a different dynamic this time around where the two teams are and the seasons both teams go through. The pressure is really on both of us to go and perform.
“We are buoyed by the performance levels – frustrated with the results – but we have a lot of energy left in us to go and fight it.”
On the injury front, Bonner revealed that Harvey Nipes has a “good chance” of returning to the team.
The striker, who scored the winning goal against the Dons on the first day of the season, has missed United’s last six matches due to an ankle injury picked up in the 2-0 defeat at Barnsley on February 11.
But now he’s back in training and has blocked any late setbacks he should be involved in at the weekend.
“He trained Tuesday — he trained hard on Tuesday. If he can get through the next couple of days well and gets some good sessions under his belt, he’ll have a good chance of being involved,” Bonner said.
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