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Battle on for number 1 shirt

1 July 2013

The battle for the number one shirt look set to be hotly contested this season.

Both David Martin and Ian McLoughlin signed new two-year deals with the Club this summer to keep them contracted to the Dons until June 2015. 

In the past two years Martin has started the season as the number one choice and totalled an impressive 97 appearances in that time. However, a back injury ended the former Liverpool goalie’s season at the end of February and McLoughlin was given his chance to shine.

Replacing Martin away at Carlisle, only a week after returning from a loan spell with Walsall, McLoughlin took his opportunity and never looked back.

Now the 21-year-old has his eyes set on battling Martin this summer for a starting place in Robinson’s side.

Speaking to MK Dons Player McLoughlin said: “I was happy to get an opportunity; obviously it was bad that Dave got injured but it is football and that happens. Going to Walsall I felt like I needed to show the manager what I could do. Anyone can do it in training, there are so many players I’ve seen over the years who are great Monday to Friday but come Saturday they crumble. 

“I think I have always had a fight, I just hadn’t had the chance to do it. Anyone can play five games and be OK, you can kind of get away with it, but I think you can judge someone on 15-20 games, you can judge their character and what they can and can’t do. 

“Everyone wants to play; I don’t think there is anyone at this Club who would be happy just to sit on the bench or to pick up their wages. Since I came here I’ve always wanted to fight for a place and now that I’ve played the games that I have, I can make the manager see what I can do. 

“Pre-season is an opportunity for everyone – it depends on what the manager wants and who he thinks his number one is.”

The former Republic of Ireland Under-21 international agreed a new deal with the Club last weekend, after weeks of negotiations, and he is now focused on the season ahead.

He added: “I was always going to stay; there were other things but I feel like I need to do something at this Club first. Last season was a good season for me and I would like to continue that.

“When I came here my goal was to play, last season I had a good run of games and I’ve done well. 

“When I initially signed here my aim was to get in the team and help get the team promoted – we came close the first year, we let ourselves down last year so I think a lot of the players have unfinished business and hopefully we can kick on this year. 

There are a lot of good teams in the League but saying that, just because they are big teams they are in this League for a reason.”

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