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Russ: We're getting close

Russell Martin reflects on the 1-1 draw with Ipswich Town...

5 October 2020

Russell Martin believes MK Dons are close to becoming a very good team and is confident they’ll get there, so long as they stop conceding poor goals.

The Dons drew 1-1 with Ipswich Town at Stadium MK, becoming the first side in Sky Bet League One to both take points off the Tractor Boys and score past them this term.

While it does mean their wait for a first league win goes on, there were plenty of positives for Martin to take – as well as some more areas of improvement.

“I'm delighted with the performance but not with the point because we deserved all three,” the Dons boss said in his post-match press conference.

“[Ipswich were the] team with the best record in the league and we've restricted them to one shot. Apart from Crewe, we've limited teams to very few shots against us this season.

“The reaction in the first half was terrific. We conceded a soft goal and we were straight back on it again. Crewe needed to be a one-off, and we responded with our best performance of the season.

“But, we have to stop conceding first – it's that simple. If we do, then we will be a very, very good team this season.”

Martin added: “We saw so many positive things that I cannot be too unhappy but the goal is not good enough.”

Daniel Harvie stole the headlines with his equalising goal, not long after being involved in an off-the-ball incident with Ipswich Town defender Luke Chambers, which resulted in a yellow card for the Scot.

Martin defended his man post-match and praised him for his positive impact on the game.

“There was a foul on him in the first place by Chambers. He made contact first and Daniel has reacted, which he shouldn't do, but there wasn't much in it. If it was that serious, the fourth official would have stopped the game straight away.

“It was a brilliant finish [for the goal]. We’ve told him to be more confident in the second half, and he got into some great positions. He linked up in the box really well, and the goal is top class.

“I really believe in him as a player. He has played a lot of football as an orthodox left back, but we're asking him to do something different, so it takes time. Physically he has already improved, but he needs to adjust to his surroundings and our style of play. He also needs to believe in himself as much as we do.

“It's frustrating now to lose him for 10 days on international duty. It's great for him, obviously, but it's frustrating for us just as he's building momentum with us. He needs to go away, do well, and when he comes back, he needs to put in that level of performance again.”

Saturday saw full debuts for summer signings Scott Fraser and Richard Keogh while George Williams came in to the starting line-up for his first appearance of the campaign.

“All three of the guys who came in today, did well. I thought [George and Richard] were great. They had real intensity and a big voice. I told George he can become more of a leader than he already is and he has responded to that.

“Scott is not fit yet but he's managed 90 minutes today. We needed his creativity. He suits the way we play perfectly and, while we need to improve him in a few areas, it feels like we have one of the best midfielders in the league.”


Russell Martin's MK Dons are back in action on Tuesday night when they take on Stevenage in the EFL Trophy. Kick-off is at 5.30pm.

Supporters can watch the match LIVE on iFollow MK Dons - click HERE and select Buy a Video Match Pass, and enjoy access to the match.

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