Season Preview: From MK Dons to Portsmouth

Courtesy of Graham Burrell

Continuing on from our look at the League One clubs we face this season, here’s MK Dons to Portsmouth.

Part One, featuring Accrington, AFC Wimbledon, Blackpool, Bristol Rovers, Burton and Charlton can be found here.

Part Two, featuring Crewe, Doncaster, Fleetwood, Gillingham Hull and Ipswich, can be found here.

MK Dons

Courtesy Graham Burrell

Av Attendance 2019/20: 9246

Manager: Russell Martin

Preferred Formation 2019/20: 4-3-1-2

Last game v City: Imps 1-1 MK Dons 11th Feb 2020

Summer Ins: Carlton Morris – Norwich (Loan), Daniel Harvie – Ayr United, Richard Keogh, Louis Thompson – Norwich (Loan), Warren O’Hora – Brighton (Loan), Lasse Sorensen – Stoke (Loan), Scott Fraser – Burton

Summer Outs: Connor McGrandles, Joe Walsh – Imps, Jordan Bowery – Mansfield, Alex Gilbey – Charlton, Rhys Healey – Toulouse, Dylan Asonganyi, Ryan Harley, Joe Mason, Stuart Moore, Jordan Moore-Taylor, Charlie Pattison, Ben Reeves, Laurie Walker (All released)

I saw a tweet earlier commending the business MK Dons have done this summer, but I’m not so sure their supporters feel the same way as some might. Sure, they’ve had some decent business, but much of their incomings are loan players which leaves them exposed in the winter window. Scott Fraser is a decent capture from Burton Albion, but the outgoings are the areas of serious concern.

The biggest loss has got to be Rhys Healey. MK Dons were poor before he dropped in last winter, but his goals help drive them up the table and put some gloss on a challenging first few months for Russell Martin. I fully expect another striker to come in, if not two, but I’d be concerned about them as things stand. I know a couple of MK Dons fans and I’m not sure the mood is particularly good around the place right now, even with Fraser arriving. It could be a tough year at Stadium MK if they can’t spend the Healey money adequately.

Northampton Town

Credit Graham Burrell

Av Attendance 2019/20: 5101

Manager: Keith Curle

Preferred Formation 2019/20: 3-4-1-2

Last game v City: Imps 1-1 Northampton – 9th Feb 2019

Summer Ins: Christopher Missilou – Oldham, Jonathan Mitchell – Derby (loan), Joseph Mills – Forest Green, Fraser Horsfall – Macclesfield, Cian Bolger – Imps, Luka Racic – Brentford (loan), Joe Nuttall – Blackpool (loan) Ricky Corboa – Carshalton, Benny Ashley-Seal – Wolves

Summer Outs: Vadaine Oliver – Gillingham, Charlie Goode – Brentford, Alan McCormack, Camron McWilliams, Jordan Turnbull, Andy Williams, Ryan Hughes, David Cornell, Jay Williams, Reece Hall-Johnson, Billy Waters, Sean Whaler, Paul Anderson, Bradley Lashley, Jack Newell

Northampton remind me a little of us in 2017/18 – had the season ended on PPG back then we might have been forced up through the play-offs too early, just as they were. My firm belief is they wouldn’t have finished top seven if things had played out as normal, or if they hadn’t managed to grab a certain Callum Morton on loan. However, they did and they’re now in League One looking to finish outside the bottom four. I think that’s an assessment many of their fans would agree with.

Some of their transfer business is interesting too. Cian has been installed as club captain and I suspect he’ll go from strength to strength with regular games. Losing Charlie Goode is a blow, but Joseph Mill and Fraser Horsfall should be exciting captures. I like Joe Nuttall too; I know DC wanted to sign him on loan a few years ago, citing him as a better hold-up striker than Big John. I wonder if he might be better for the Cobblers than Vadaine Oliver too, making them just as tough and robust as they were last season.

They’re not going to trouble the top half, technically they’re lacking in key areas, but I think they might well survive on grit and fight, as Keith Curle sides tend to do.