Russell Martin insists it’s only natural for the MK Dons players and fans to feel nervous in the closing stages of the season, but reiterates the importance of embracing the feeling and using the emotions in the right way.
Martin has had plenty of experience in promotion pushes and feels he, and the other experienced professionals will be on hand to offer support to the rest of the dressing room.
“I think nerves are going to come – particularly for the younger players,” the defender told the media ahead of Saturday’s clash with Tranmere Rovers.
“I think we’ve got a lot of experience in the dressing room, and a lot of the players in there have been in this position before – our experience will be called upon. That’ll stand us in good stead – but we can only focus on ourselves. We’ve got a big game this weekend and it’s one we are all looking forward too.”
Martin added, “I was speaking to Callum Brittain the other day and told him that he’d much prefer to play in games that actually mean something, rather than battling for mid-table or fighting relegation.
“When you’re fighting to achieve and win something – it’s a brilliant place to be. These moments might not ever come around again so it has to be embraced. If you don’t feel any nerves, you’ve got a problem – but if you can use them nerves in the right way – that’ll only be a good thing.”
The 33-year-old has enjoyed four promotions during his career and feels the major similarity between the quarter was togetherness in the dressing room – something he can see at the Dons.
“It feels like a really good dressing room, it’s got great spirit, a lot of good characters and good ability but most important – togetherness.
“You need that to be a successful team, it’s really difficult to achieve anything when people are selfish and out for themselves - we’ve got a really good group."
Tickets for Saturday's clash with Tranmere Rovers are priced at £18 adults, £11 seniors/young adults, £5 under-18s and £2 under-12s, if bought before 5pm today. Ticket prices will increase on the day of the game.
Ambulant disabled supporters pay the disabled rate of £11 or the relevant age bracket if cheaper. Supporters with a disability are entitled to a FREE personal assistant. Wheelchair users should contact Tranmere Rovers directly on 01516 093 328.
Official Away Travel is running for this fixture, with coach spaces priced at £23 Season Ticket holders and £24 all other supporters. Coaches will depart Stadium MK at 9.30am.
To book tickets/travel click HERE, visit the Box Office at Stadium MK or call 0333 200 5343. Tickets will remain on sale from MK Dons until 5pm today.