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Russ’ goal glee

MK Dons boss reviews the goals scored in the 3-1 win over Portsmouth...

31 December 2019

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Russell Martin waxed lyrical over his side’s goalscoring display in their dominant success over Portsmouth at Stadium MK.

Rhys Healey, Conor McGrandles and Alex Gilbey were all on target as MK Dons signed off 2019 with a 3-1 victory over Pompey – their second straight home victory and a result which lifts them to within touching distance of safety in Sky Bet League One.

When reviewing all three goals in his post-match press conference, Martin was full of praise.

“For the first, Jordan Houghton did exactly what we’ve been asking him to do, in terms of being in the right place to receive the ball,” Martin told the media.

“Rhys has made his mind up for him by making a great run and it's a great ball. The defender has done well to get something on it but Rhys was excellent.

“I've been demanding of Rhys, and he's answered everything. A fit and firing Rhys Healey is a big player and he's shown that today.”

On the second, Martin commented: “The finish was brilliant and the build-up was great. So many of our goals come from stuff we've worked on in training.

“David Kasumu wins the ball back, and Deano was just Deano - he saw the pass to Rhys. Him and Mase [Joe Mason] do the last bit and Conor finishes brilliantly.

“It all started with the intensity and quality they've got. We don't want them to be robots but to play with freedom.”

Arguably the pick of the goals was Gilbey’s third – a delicate chip over the Portsmouth goalkeeper after being played through by substitute Sam Nombe. The young striker received a special mention from the manager for his contribution.

“Sam was so frustrated with himself after Southend but we’ve spoken a number of times since and I asked him to come on in this game and make a difference - he did that. It made everyone's life easier with that great goal.”

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