MK Dons to field young side against Cobblers in EFL Trophy

Cobblers cannot qualify for the next round regardless of the outcome at Stadium MK
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Cobblers are likely to face a very young MK Dons team when the two sides meet for Tuesday's Bristol Street Motors Trophy game at Stadium MK.

Northampton are out of the competition while Dons sit second behind Oxford United in Southern Group N, but they are already through to the knockout stages and can guarantee themselves a home draw in the next round if they win tomorrow night.

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However, despite that incentive, new head coach Mike Williamson is set to take a look at some of the club's younger players after speaking with academy manager Ben Smith.

Stadium MK, home of MK DonsStadium MK, home of MK Dons
Stadium MK, home of MK Dons

"Those conversations were had two or three weeks ago," Smith told the MK Citizen. "We've already forecast and forward planning as to what this game could look like. We have this open dialogue, which puts us in a good place. We feel comfortable enough to say that it's the right environment.

"We've got an accelerated pathway, and we have young people who are ready to go and play in these games out of merit rather than it being a token gesture. We don't want to lose the privilege of playing for the first-team, no matter what the competition is. You get there through hard work, commitment and talent.

"(Regular first-team football) has to be the plan, otherwise what's the point in having an academy? We want to create a pathway and give the opportunities but they have to be earned. They have to work hard and understand what it takes to have the opportunity to represent a football club at first-team level."