No split loyalties as McLeod targets Dons

Izale McLeod made a name for himself as a goalscorer at MK Dons
Izale McLeod made a name for himself as a goalscorer at MK Dons

Izale McLeod is plotting to sink the side who made him as a player.

McLeod makes an emotional return to former club MK Dons tomorrow as Pompey take on the team which saw him emerge as a real goalscoring threat.

It will be the first time the 27-year-old has gone back to the club where he smashed in an outstanding 60 strikes in 122 starts.

McLeod arrives there in good form, with four goals to his name this season to date – and the praise of Michael Appleton ringing in his ears after a hard-working performance at Yeovil.

McLeod spent three years at the Dons after leaving Derby in 2004, marking a happy period of his career.

The striker still lives in the Milton Keynes area and had the clash circled as a red-letter day when the League One fixtures were released in the summer.

But he’s promised there will be no split loyalties come kick-off tomorrow.

And McLeod will be going full throttle to down the side where he made his reputation.

He said: ‘Going to MK was the making of my career.

‘I left Derby as a young pro at 19 and went to Milton Keynes to play regular football.

‘I ended up having three great years there, where I came into the spotlight goalscoring-wise.

‘I have fond memories and had a great period of my career there.

‘I played against them last season in the cup and scored but I haven’t been back there since I left.

‘It’s going to be nice to play. I live in MK, have a lot of friends there and I know a few of the players.

‘I’ve lived there for eight years now and have my business there, so I know people around and about.

‘Everyone says they remember me from those days. It’s a nice place to be.

‘Everyone is coming up to me about the game, but hopefully we can get the win.

‘It’s a special game for me but, at the end of the game, I hope it’s a special one for Pompey.

‘It’s nice to go back to former clubs and it’s going to be a nice occasion there and I will have loads of friends at the game.

‘But to top it off we need to get a good result.’

Pompey will be making their first trip to Stadium MK tomorrow to take on the perennial League One promotion contenders.

Karl Robinson’s side are again in the upper reaches of the league table and have lost only one of their past six games going into the clash.

McLeod knows the opposition will produce an open, expansive passing game to test a Pompey side gaining in confidence after two wins on the spin.

He said: ‘We need to work our socks off to get something out of the game, that’s for sure.

‘The buzz is they are going to have one big go this season.

‘Karl Robinson is expecting to have a big push.

‘They are a good team and have been a good team for the past few years in League One.

‘It’s going to be a tough game. They play football and move the ball really well, so we need to be on our game.’