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Martin likes distance in friendlies

30 July 2012

It has been a solid start to pre-season for the MK Dons goalkeepers as they are yet to concede a goal after four friendlies.

During the pre-season tour in Ireland number one goalie David Martin and youngster Ian McLoughlin enjoyed a fair share of time between the sticks before McLoughlin completed 90 minutes in a training game against the Bohemians development squad.

Last Saturday the friendly against Kettering Town offered Karl Robinson the chance to play Martin for a full match. While there was little in the way of action at Nene Park, Martin, who kept a personal record of 18 clean sheets last season, believes it was still a worthwhile exercise.

Speaking after the 0-0 draw Martin said: “It was frustrating; we had to use the game more for fitness unfortunately. We couldn’t play the way we usually like to play on our pitch but you have to adapt sometimes and use it for what it is. We have two big games coming up at our place and I am sure we will enjoy getting out on that lovely new pitch.

“For me the important thing about pre-season is it allows me to work on judging my distances. As a keeper that is the first thing that goes, you need to know if the ball is coming straight at you where it’s going to land and you’re decisions have to be key. 

“You’re never going to be 100 per cent, but I played 56 games last year and I felt really switched on. You do notice that you are a bit sluggish so in that respect it’s good to get your distances right again.”

The Dons’ opposition so far in pre-season have been of lower league standards which is why Martin isn’t getting too carried away with their current shut-out record, however, if the Dons want a test they will certainly get that in the next 10 days as they face Premier League sides Norwich City and Fulham. 

Martin added: “It’s good to get any clean sheet but obviously you want them in the big games which for us will be Norwich and Fulham. You want to keep a clean sheet in any game you play in but hopefully there will be a bit more competition in the other games.

"Everyone is flying now and we can’t wait to get going.”

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