MK Dons could be set to field a weaker side than expected for their Carabao Cup first-round clash with Coventry City on Saturday.
The Sky Blues will kick-off their 2020-21 campaign away at Stadium:MK in English football’s lesser-valued cup competition.
There has been plenty of talk about how Mark Robins will shape up for the clash with many expecting the City boss to use the cup tie as a final pre-season friendly before the action really gets underway against Bristol City in the Championship a week later.
But today the Sky Blues were given a glimpse of how their rivals will approach the game with MK boss Russell Martin declaring that he plans to use the tie, and their following fixture against Northampton Town in the EFL Trophy, to give his entire squad some more minutes before the League One campaign kick-offs.
“They’re both important games and a time to give everyone time on the pitch before the start of the season on Saturday,” Martin told the MK Citizen.
“Over the two games, it will be a chance for everyone to get game time.
“Then we’ll be ready [for the new season],” he said. “But we won’t be the finished article, it’s about managing expectations, making sure we’re realistic and pragmatic in our approach. The players will want more, but that’s great for us.”
Robins’ players were put through their final pre-season friendly on Tuesday afternoon with Liam Kelly and Marko Marosi both featuring against Southampton at St. Mary’s.
Tyler Walker also featured as the Sky Blues came from a goal down the win 3-1 with goals from Max Biamou, David Bremang and Jonny Ngandu.
Speaking to Coventry City’s website after the game, coach Jason Farndon said: ““We were really sloppy in the first half and there was a lot of finger-pointing and people not knowing where they’re going, we tried to sort it out at half time.
“I think we just worked a little bit harder in the second half and got to grips with it, all in all, it was a good day.
“We always felt that we would get chances and we took those chances at the right time,” he added.