Stephen Walker feels he’s returned to MK Dons as an improved player mentally, physically and technically.
Walker joined MK Dons for his first loan spell back in January 2019, however, he only saw the pitch seven times, all of which were off the bench.
Having returned to Middlesbrough, Walker played seven games in the Championship before enjoying a brief loan spell with Crewe Alexandra in Sky Bet League Two.
The forward to MK Dons as a more mature 20-year-old, ready to prove his point under a manager that has given him the freedom to perform.
“I feel I’ve matured in my game and how I am every day,” Walker told iFollow MK Dons following the full-time whistle. “With Russ, he understands I'm young and he put his arm around me and put his faith in me which has given me the confidence to go out there and play - he's the perfect manager to have and I can talk to him about anything.”
Having shared the dressing room for six months, Boss Russell Martin already knew the talents that Walker possessed. As soon as the Middlesbrough loanee heard of the Dons’ interest – it was the only place he wanted to play his football.
“He was the main reason I wanted to come back. Russ was a player when I was here, and we'd sit together in the dressing room and he was on to me every day trying to help me improve.
“It meant a lot to me. When he phoned me to say he wanted me to come down, it was a no-brainer. He's got so much faith in me and I want to repay him.”