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Russ slams first-half showing in Lincoln loss

Russell Martin reflects on the 2-1 loss to Lincoln City...

21 September 2020

Russell Martin slammed a disappointing first-half showing following MK Dons’ 2-1 defeat to Lincoln City.

The Dons fell to their first defeat of the season on Saturday, after goals from Jorge Grant and Tom Hopper, either side of Joe Mason’s finish, saw Lincoln triumph at Stadium MK.

Martin’s men looked good value for, at least, a point during a positive second-half display but the boss believes his side were ultimately made to rue for a below par first 45 minutes.

“I was not happy with the first half at all,” Martin told the media during his post-match press conference. “It was nowhere near our usual standard.

“Once we conceded, we showed too much anxiety and a lack of confidence in what we were doing. We made too many mistakes and were too disappointed when we lost the ball.

“I felt completely different in the second half. We looked really good for the first half an hour of it and we controlled the game, looking dominant after we equalised.

“From there I thought we'd get at least a point, and there would only be one winner. We had some great chances, their keeper made some good saves and we missed some as well.

“But, we've given away a really soft goal which is just not good enough. It has ultimately cost us a point, along with the first half.”

Lincoln opened the scoring following a moment of controversy – referee Brett Huxtable awarding the Imps a penalty despite Baily Cargill clearly winning the ball when challenging Hopper inside the box.

Martin, though, wasn’t looking to make excuses.

“It was the wrong decision. He's said he thinks Baily has come in from behind, but he hasn't – it was shoulder to shoulder.

“It’s not the reason we lost, though. It has played a huge part in the game, but I won't blame it for us losing the game. We have to react better to the decision.”

While Saturday’s defeat was a blow to the Dons, there were still positives for Martin to take away – not least the positive response in the second half and the chances his side created after the equaliser.

“They just frustrated us but we've created a lot against a team who have kept two clean sheets so far and are difficult to create against. They've also not really had many chances, apart from the penalty.”

He added: “We've played two good teams so far, and they have provided tough tests. It's a long season and there's a lot to work on. We have to trust the process.”

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MK Dons will look to bounce back this Saturday when face Crewe Alexandra at the Alexandra Stadium. Kick-off is at 3pm.

Supporters can watch the match LIVE on iFollow MK Dons by purchasing a Video Match Pass for just £10 - click HERE and select Buy A Video Match Pass to sign up ahead of the weekend!


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