Dave Kitson famously didn’t give two figs for the FA Cup.

Stuart McCall may be far too professional to say it but few could blame him for thinking the same.

With a squad stretched by injuries and two tough away league games to follow, he needs Saturday’s trip to League One high-flyers Milton Keynes like a hole in the head.

Midfield is the biggest problem area, with Dean Furman and Kyle Nix added to a growing list of absentees. Resources will be tested as some of the fringe players come into the reckoning.

Rory Boulding is hoping to be one of those to benefit in a competition that provided a personal milestone last season.

So far City fans have seen nothing of Michael Boulding’s younger brother, other than a couple of cameos in pre-season.

He has made the bench three times without coming on but a nagging ankle injury has halted his momentum – but the 20-year-old reckons that could be about to change at stadiummk.

Boulding said: “A few of the young players might be getting a chance and I really want to be one of those. Hopefully I will be.

“I played my first game back for the reserves at Huddersfield last week and came through the full 90 minutes quite well.

“The gaffer said I was unlucky not to be involved last Saturday against Barnet so I’m hoping I will be included, especially with the bigger squad.

“There are quite a few who’ve deserved to be playing so far but obviously with the squad being so strong this season, people have missed out who would be playing if they were at any other League Two club.

“I felt very sharp in pre-season and then got a little chance on the bench before the injury set me back but now I’m raring to go again.”

It was a year ago that Boulding scored his only senior goal as Mansfield beat non-leaguers Lewes at the same stage of the FA Cup.

“It was a pretty good day all-round because I set up Mick for the first and then got one myself,” he said.

“We also played together in the next round, putting out Harrogate on TV, and I got another assist setting him up again.

“The cup was good for us last season because we also put out Brighton and then went close against Middlesbrough, though I missed out on that with an injury.

“But I really enjoyed the cup run and it would be great if we could do something similar here.

“Obviously MK Dons are a strong side and they ran away with this league last year but it’s a chance for us to express ourselves as the underdogs.

“We’re really gunning for promotion this season, so there is a lot of pressure there in every league game. This time we can get away from that a bit and hopefully play with a bit more freedom and give them a really good run.”

McCall can call on loan players Nicky Law and TJ Moncur but Tom Clarke has been stopped from playing by Huddersfield.

Should the game finish in a draw, the replay will take place at Valley Parade on Tuesday, November 18.