STAN TERNENT sends Town into action against MK Dons at the Galpharm tomorrow saying: “Victory would represent a very satisfactory start to the season.”
Draws against Stockport and Colchester have left Ternent’s side 17th in the embryonic League I table, two places below Roberto Di Matteo’s Dons, who head North chasing a third straight win after 1-0 defeats of Norwich City, in the Carling Cup, and Northampton Town.
But Ternent, who is ready to unleash new signings Ian Craney and Liam Dickinson, pointed out: “If you include the Carling Cup (in which Town beat Bradford 4-0), that’s three games unbeaten, five goals scored and only one conceded. I know we’re on the right track.”
While sources in East Lancashire were today linking Town with Burnley’s Northern Ireland frontman Steve Jones, Ternent would only confirm that ex-Accrington Stanley midfielder Craney and on-loan Derby striker Dickinson were in his plans for the clash with last season’s League II champions.
“They’ll be in the 16, but while I know what side I’m putting out and how I want them to play, I’m not making it public,” said Ternent, who has no major injury worries.
“Ian is a very good footballer to whom we have given a stage while Liam is a great prospect who provides cover for or an alternative to Andy Booth.
“In my view we’ve strengthened the squad considerably by bringing them in, and we’re getting closer to what I’m after in terms of having players of quality who complement each other.”
On MK, who this week brought in French midfielder Flavien Belson from FC Metz but look set to lose last season’s skipper Keith Andrews to Blackburn Rovers, Ternent said: “I thought Stockport were an excellent side, and MK finished above them in League II, so on paper they should be even better.
“They brought in Roberto Di Matteo when Paul Ince moved to Blackburn, and while I don’t know him personally, he was a very good player who will have his own ideas on how his team should play.
“I do know Roberto’s assistant Eddie Newton, who was a Chelsea player when I was coaching there, and he’s a guy I think a lot of.”
It’s Town’s first meeting with MK since February 2006, when Martin McIntosh, Gary Taylor-Fletcher, Jon Worthington, David Mirfin and Michael Collins clinched a 5-0 win.
Football – Pages 45, 46 & 47.