Russell Martin is excited that MK Dons will be able to welcome supporters back to Stadium MK next month.
The Club confirmed on Friday that a limited number of supporters will be able to return to Stadium MK in December, following the end of national restrictions on 2 December.
While the number of spectators will be limited to 2,000 under Tier 2 restrictions, Martin is looking forward to seeing, at least some, Season Ticket holders back in the stands, starting from the Papa John’s Trophy tie with Norwich City.
“I can’t wait,” the boss said in his pre-match press conference ahead of the Emirates FA Cup tie with Barnet. “We’re all excited and can’t wait to have them back.
“They helped us so much last year. The support and connection we had with them last season was incredible and we were building a real togetherness.
“I hope it carries on from last season and I’m sure it will. It will give so much to the players.”
When fans do return, Martin will be hoping they can help maintain the run of form his side has recently put together – a stretch of results which has improved their league position and sets them up to climb even further over the coming weeks and months.
Not only is the gaffer focused on the short-term goals, though, but he also has an eye on the future and continuing to build a culture and a structure to provide the opportunity for sustained success at Stadium MK.
“As a manager, I always have to have a big picture view,” he said in Friday’s interview.
“The short-term aim is, of course, about improving on last season and I’m confident we will do that, but I’m also excited about the long term.
“So often football is judged week to week. We beat Sunderland and there was one opinion about us but then we lose to Hull and draw and that opinion changes - I understand it.
“It’s up to me to make sure I don’t get sucked into that. I am emotionally invested in this Club, of course, but I am very process-driven because I know how important it is not to get emotionally tied to short-term results.”
He continued: “I was asked to bring stability and identity to the Club and I feel we couldn’t have a clearer one. The way we are playing will improve our individuals as people and players.
“I’ve been part of very different cultures during my career and I feel we’ve established one here that I enjoy being part of.
“I love being at this football club, and I have done since from day one. I’m invested in this club 100% but we need to get results to show it’s working. I have complete faith it will, but we just have to justify that now.”