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Russ reacts to season curtailment

MK Dons reflects on decision to end the 2019/20 campaign...

12 June 2020

Russell Martin has offered his reaction to the curtailment of the 2019/20 campaign in an interview with MK Citizen this week.

The Dons boss saw his first season in charge at Stadium MK cut short in mid-March due to the Coronavirus outbreak with his side lying 18th in the Sky Bet League One table.

With the placings determined on a points per game basis, Martin’s men will finish the campaign one place lower, in 19th, but crucially with their third-tier status secured for 2020/21.

“I think everyone is just glad that we've got an answer after such a long time,” Martin told the MK Citizen.

“I don't think anyone is happy about it, but there were so many issues that needed to be overcome before we could get back playing, and when you see the number of people getting ill or dying, it made sense.

“It was a shame for us because I think we were really starting to get somewhere. Though the last result wasn't a good one for us, we had so much confidence heading into those next few games and I think we would have finished a lot higher [had we played on].

“Our ambition was to stay up, so it was a success in terms of our objective when we took over, but 19th is not where we wanted to finish, really. Saying that, I don't think many people will be looking at where we finished the season because of everything else going on.

“There are a lot of things we can build on, though. The players took to our ways so quickly and that was the biggest shock for us because we expected it to take a bit of time. I think the players and the fans can go into next season confidently.”

When the 2020/21 campaign will begin is yet to be determined, with the chances of kicking-off in early August looking remote. Martin hopes a return to action isn't too far away.

“The next step is to establish when we can go training, when we're allowed to come back and see each other again and in what capacity. We're all waiting on a start date for next season, and when we get that we can start to work backwards from there.

“I feel so sorry for those who have worked so hard on getting all the protocols in order, working out four or five scenarios about how to get the players back in, only for the season to be ended just like that.

“It does mean we will be really well prepared for when the season does eventually start again which I hope will be sooner rather than later.”

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