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Russ: Squad-building process remains on track

Dons boss speaks following the departure of Alex Gilbey...

12 August 2020

Russell Martin believes MK Dons are on the road to building the squad they want to achieve their aims in Sky Bet League One season.

Martin’s statement of intent comes following the departure of midfielder Alex Gilbey, who has joined Charlton Athletic for an undisclosed transfer fee.

“I understand a lot of people will be unhappy, especially when a player is rated so highly by the supporters, but no player is indispensable - I learnt that during my playing career,” the Dons boss said.

“It’s important to contextualise the situation. This wasn’t Alex forcing a move and it wasn’t us taking a low sum of money, which has been suggested. It’s something that suited everyone on a personal level.

“We didn’t need to sell him. This wasn’t the Club doing it for a financial reason because we’re in a strong position in that regard, but if a player wants to go and they have something which they feel is better for them, I don’t want to keep them here unhappy.

“As a former player myself, I respect that. I’m not sitting here looking to vilify Alex, because I have a good relationship with him, but the situation is that he expressed it was a move he wanted to make.”

Martin continued: “We agreed a deal that we believe is acceptable for the Football Club, and the Chairman and Andy have been supportive that anything that comes in will be used in the football budget.

“We planned for this – as we plan successions for every player in the squad. It means I’m quite relaxed about whole situation – that’s the beauty of having a thorough recruitment process.

“What I would say to those who are unhappy, is to trust that we were ready for this. I understand their frustrations but once the dust settles and we play the first game, I’m confident the fans will see that there was a plan in place.

“We remain confident in our plan to put together a team that can achieve our aims in Sky Bet League One this season. I’m excited for what we can do between now and when the season gets underway.”

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