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Tuesday, 29 July 2014

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Carlisle Utd's Sean O'Hanlon hoping for easy ride from MK Dons fans

Sean O'Hanlon hopes he won’t get a rough ride from fans of his old club MK Dons – even though he’ll be out to extend their losing run.

Sean O’Hanlon photo
Sean O’Hanlon

The Carlisle United centre-half will face his former team for the first time at Brunton Park this weekend.

O’Hanlon, who spent five years with Carlisle’s opponents, insists there will be no favours for Karl Robinson’s team, who are on the slide with no wins in six league games.

But the 30-year-old defender hopes his 181 appearances for the Dons from 2006 to 2011 will earn him the respect of the travelling fans.

“I spent five great years there and thoroughly enjoyed my time,” O’Hanlon said. “It’s going to be interesting.

“There are a lot of old faces still there and I still keep in touch with some of them. In a way it will be strange to play against them.

“I remember playing against another of my old clubs, Swindon, when I was with MK Dons, and I got a bit of stick off the Swindon fans. But I would like to think the MK fans will be ok with me.”

O’Hanlon will be out to extend United’s own improved run at home, with Greg Abbott’s 16th-placed side having gone five matches unbeaten at Brunton Park.

The 30-year-old has been an impressive addition to the Blues team since January, when he joined as a free agent following his release by Hibernian.

He admits his memories of his time with the Buckinghamshire club will come flooding back on Saturday but insists all his focus will be on another Carlisle win.

“Obviously that’s the most important thing,” he said.

“When I was at MK we won the league, I scored when we won the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy [in 2008], and we got to the play-offs in League One, so it was quite a successful time.

“They do like to play football but they’ve got to come to us and no-one likes coming to Carlisle.”

United are hoping to get back to winning ways this weekend after taking just one point from their two away trips last week.

O’Hanlon insisted that United looked more solid against Portsmouth in last weekend’s 1-1 draw than they had in last Tuesday’s loss at Scunthorpe, and expects another strong showing against Robinson’s men.

“After we got the first goal I thought we were going to win the game, but after such a long trip it was still a point gained,” O’Hanlon said.

“I don’t think they [Portsmouth] created much to be honest. Mark [Gillespie] didn’t have many saves to make because we kept them out of the box.

“I’ve had six games for the club now and the key is still not getting beat, and if we can pick clean-sheets up along the way that is a bonus.”

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