Former Portsmouth target and Swindon ace Scott Twine tipped to show what Blues missed out on during visit to MK Dons

One-time Pompey target – now MK Dons maestro – Scott Twine is being tipped to show the Blues what they missed out on during tomorrow’s League One clash.

By sam cox
Friday, 10th September 2021, 5:00 pm

The Blues were heavily linked with the promising former Swindon ace at the start of the summer, but ended up exploring other options after the Dons won the race to his signature.

Since then, the 22-year-old has already made a sizeable impression on the Dons’ fans with his attacking play – contributing two goals and a assist to date.

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And according to MK Dons journalist Toby Lock, Twine could have a huge say in the outcome of tomorrow’s match.

Lock told The News: ‘As the Dons are short on strikers, with Mo Eisa and Max Watters injured, they’ll need all the attacking threats they can get.

‘On Saturday, one of the Dons’ goals will be to get the ball to Scott Twine and see what he can bring to the party.

‘Playing just off the striker is his best position, so if he can hover around in that pocket of space, and cause all sorts of mayhem, then that’s where Pompey are really going to have to concentrate.

MK Dons' Scott Twine was a summer target of Pompey boss Danny Cowley

‘Danny Cowley’s side will need to focus on shutting down those lines in between the midfield and the defence because he could control the game from there.’

Lock explained how Twine’s positivity on the ball has already gained him many admirers, while transforming the way MK Dons have progressed in recent weeks:

He said: ‘Twine’s so creative and already you can see he’s the type of player who always looks to get the game and ball more forward.

‘He’s almost rectified a problem that the Dons had last year as they were a little too slow and a little pedestrian sometimes, so when you’ve now got a player who wants to turn and drag the game forward it’s a huge benefit.

‘We’ve already seen that when they give Twine the ball he’s always wanting to be on the front foot and take players on.

‘It doesn’t appear that he’s afraid of it either. You see a lot of players in the same position sometimes offloading the ball and finding space, but he’s the complete opposite of that.’

Despite Twine’s early success at MK Dons, Lock admitted the player didn’t enjoy the easiest of starts to life at Stadium MK as he was tasked with replacing fans’ favourite Scott Fraser, who moved to big-spending Ipswich in the summer.

‘It was a position that Scott Fraser was playing last season and I think a lot of people raised a few eyebrows when he was initially signed due to the good spell that Fraser had,’ added Lock.

‘Then when Fraser left the club, people had initial nerves about Twine.

‘But after he played a few pre-season games it made him a part of the fold early on.

‘The fans were more willing to accept that a relatively young kid had come in, and after seeing the numbers he had posted last season, I think the excitement levels to what he could do grew.

‘The way he was received has helped him bed in a lot more, and he’s certainly a player who gets the fans on their feet straight away as soon as he’s on the ball.’

With many impressive attributes to his game, many feel that Twine could already be playing at a higher level, and Lock hinted at what he may need to do to fulfil his potential:

‘I think he has so much in his locker that it wouldn’t surprise me if people came sniffing around in the summer, if not January, because he’s just got that spark about him.

‘His age is most certainly on his side and he’s got plenty of years in development ahead of him.

‘The only thing he needs to do really is potentially get a little more physical. But other than that, the sky’s the limit for him really.

‘I can picture him thriving in a Championship team already given the way he likes to play.

‘He’s got a great ability at set-pieces, too. The two free-kicks that he’s scored already this season shows that he’s got so much ability and that little spark you don’t often see in league one players.’

The Dons sit three places and one point behind Pompey going into tomorrow’s match, but with former MK boss Russell Martin leaving for Swansea in the summer, the Buckinghamshire side are showing a different side to their game under, new boss, Liam Manning:

‘It’s not the same MK Dons that they were last season,’ Lock explained.

‘Last season, they played slightly more pedestrian, it was slow and patient while being more methodical.

‘With Dons now, they’re very much a quicker team, who want to get the ball forwards a lot more and more quickly.

‘As a result, they’ve looked a lot more dangerous when they’re around the penalty area.

‘What they’ve done is make a huge step forwards from where they were last season.

‘Expect a fast game, and expect a game that has a lot of action at both goal mouths.

‘Based on the way that the Dons have played, and from teams that Pompey have brought up in previous years, it’s going to be exciting.’