Date:Friday May 11 2012
12 May 2012
SIMON GRAYSON sends his troops into battle at stadium:mk on Saturday, kick-off 12:30, with the message 'we need to grasp the opportunity and have no regrets.'
Grayson was not in charge of the Terriers for either of the two previous meetings this season, both ended in 1-1 draws.
Huddersfield are expected to take a large 4,000+ travelling support to stadium:mk and Grayson has a fully fit squad to choose from with the exception of Gary Naysmith.
The games this season were extremely close and with only a point seperating the sides in the seasons final league table this could be a hard game to call.
Be sure to have grown your fingernails specially for this one!
'I think we have gained some good momentum over the last three games; we have won two and drawn one and I think shown glimpses of how we want to play.'
'We have got players returning from injury who have been unavailable for a while, so we are feeling good. Form can go out of the window in the Play-Offs, but we are approaching the games in a positive manner.'
'The players need to learn from the experiences that they have gone through before in these sorts of occasions. You can learn from successes and failures in semi-finals and it is important that the players take on board what has gone on before. Sometimes though, the raw naivety of players can help them grasp the opportunity as they won't be worrying about the bigger picture.
'The players haven't shown any fear over the last week; our training sessions have been very positive. All the supporters that I have spoken to are looking forward to the two games. Everyone knows anything can happen - that is the nature of the Play-Offs - but we need to grasp the opportunity and have no regrets.'
'I have not been involved in a game against MK Dons this season, but I have seen them play against Carlisle and also watched DVDs and read reports. On paper it has got the ingredients of being a good contest. They are a good footballing team who like to play the ball out through the defence and up to the strikers. We know what to expect from them and they will know what to expect from us from the two tight games earlier in the season.
'To still be in the tie after the first leg is our main objective; ideally a victory would be nice, but even that doesn't give you the guarantee of winning over the two legs. We are not going down to stadiummk to be negative or nick a draw though - we will be positive.
'We need to play the game and not the occasion. The build-up to the game should be no different than normal; you need to approach the game in the same manner as any other game. Individually players don't need to be going out and trying new things and collectively you need to stick to what you are good at.'
'It is good that we have got bodies back at this important time of the season, but only 16 can be in my squad so some of them will be unhappy. I have a good squad of players here who are all in it together, which is great to have.'
Gary MacKenzie is expected to be available after illness.
Alan Smith is also expected to start for the DOns.
Luke Chadwick is a doubt after picking up a knock in the defeat to Walsall.
Mathias Doumbe is also doubtful after missing several games recently through injury
The former Yeovil striker has been in good form this season and has a keen eye for goal.
Gary Naysmith (knee) is the only injury absentee.
Alan Lee & Jordan Rhodes are pressing for starts.
Nathan Clarke, Liam Ridehalgh & Murray Wallace (pending international clearance) all come in for selection.
Oscar Gobern, Diego Arismendi, Anton Robinson, Tom Clarke, Jamie McCombe, Antony Kay are all hoping to be involved.
The 36 goal divisions top scorer is expected to return to the Terriers starting XI and Town fans will hope he is in a goal-scoring mood - A hat-trick would be nice!
Last meeting: npower League 1.
aturday 4 February 2012.
Huddersfield Town 1 (Jamie McCombe 45) Milton Keynes Dons 1 (Stephen Gleeson 62)
Huddersfield boast a 50% winning record over Milton Keynes since 2004. The Terriers have won six and lost two of 12 matches, which have all been in League One.
•The Terriers are unbeaten in seven (W4, D3), since an MK Dons' 3-1 home defeat in August 2008.
•Both this season's meetings ended as stalemates at 1-1. MK Dons keeper David Martin saved a penalty, denying Lee Novak the late winner when the sides last met at Stadium MK in September.
Darren Deadman, 49 games this season, 206 yellow, 14 red cards
So tough to call a play-off game. MK Dons 1-3 Huddersfield Town.
Tuesday 15th (H) MK Dons 19:45
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Date:Friday May 11 2012
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