Russell Martin begins life as MK Dons manager this weekend, when his side take on Port Vale in the Emirates FA Cup First Round Proper.
Martin, appointed manager on Sunday following the departure of Paul Tisdale, will look to hit the ground running at Stadium MK on Saturday, and hopes that the work that has been done on training pitch this week can bear fruit against the Valiants.
“Hopefully we can show on Saturday what we've shown in the last few days in training and put in a real positive performance,” Martin said in his pre-match press conference – his first as MK Dons manager.
“We've watched a lot of [Port Vale] this week, but my main focus has been on us. We're aware of what they can do, and they were a good side here last season, but this week is about us and what we can do.”
Martin faces an immediate challenge to overturn the Dons’ recent form – a run which currently reads nine defeats in eleven matches in all competitions. The 33-year-old believes rebuilding the confidence of the group will go a long way towards reversing the current results.
“Our confidence has been knocked,” he admitted. “They players all disappointed because there has been a change and we're all partly responsible for that. We need to hold our hands up to that, and we need to build that confidence back up to where we need it to be.
“We've always been together as a group, that was never in doubt, but now it's about making them believe in themselves again, getting confidence back and making sure they believe in what we are doing.”
“I've not really considered anything negative. We have really good players, regardless of who is injured, and we have to make the most of what we've got, maximising our potential.
“One of the most important parts of my job is the relationship with the players. Every manager does it differently but I want to be close with the players.
“I want to be warm and firm - being warm is not a weakness. The door is never closed and they'll get honesty from me.
“The players need to enjoy this process. If we can get things right Monday to Friday then Saturday will take care of itself.”
Watch Russell Martin's first match in charge of MK Dons this weekend as his side take on Port Vale at Stadium MK in the Emirates FA Cup First Round Proper.
Tickets are priced from £12 adults, £5 under-18s and £1 under-12s, with discounts for Season Ticket holders until 5pm on Friday.
Supporters can upgrade to seats in the East Centre for a £3 premium (£2 under-18s) while an upgrade to clubRed is just £6 more (£5 under-18s/£4 under-12s).
To book tickets click HERE, visit the Box Office at Stadium MK or call 0333 200 5343.
Tickets will be available to buy right up until kick-off from the Box Office. Tickets will go off sale online at 12pm. Tickets can also be bought from cash-only ticket booths around Stadium MK from 1pm.