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Fixture News

Russ expects reaction

Dons boss previews Saturday's clash with Portsmouth...

16 April 2021

Russell Martin is expecting a reaction from his MK Dons side, as they prepare to host Portsmouth at Stadium MK.

Martin’s Dons were beaten 4-0 by Lincoln City in midweek but have the opportunity to bounce back when they take on play-off chasing Pompey this Saturday lunchtime.

“I’m really excited about the game,” Martin said in his pre-match press conference. “It’s a big test against a very good side but we need a reaction.

“I have a lot of respect for Portsmouth and the Cowley’s. You know what you’ll get from their teams - they are full of intensity. They have a great squad too.

“They’ll be pushing hard to try take some momentum into the play offs whereas we want to finish as high as possible.

“Every game matters, every single details matters because we want to finish as strong as we can and with as many points as we can. We’re after that consistency in performance, which we will be better for next season.”

The Dons go into Saturday’s fixture without a goal to their name in their last three outings and while eager for his side to get back firing, Martin isn’t too concerned about a squad who rank ninth in the division for goals scored this term.

“We know what we need to do to threat the opposition goal again,” the boss said.

“We’re trying to find balance between having control in the middle but also maintaining that threat in behind, but we’ve scored a lot of goals this season and still are having a high amount of touches in the box.

“We should score against Ipswich but at Lincoln we didn’t get enough first contact on crosses. We are also playing against teams that are desperate to stop us because of what they are fighting for.”

Martin added: “It’ll come, I have no doubt about that.”

In terms of team news, the Dons have revealed no fresh injury concerns but they look to set to remain without Cameron Jerome and Louis Thompson, along with Warren O’Hora, Ben Gladwin, Kieran Agard and Jay Bird.

David Kasumu, though, is edging closer to full fitness after making three appearances off the bench and Martin believes he isn’t too far away from starting a match.

“If David doesn’t start soon, I think he’ll tackle me and I don’t want that!” he said.

“He’s very close. He’s probably ready now, but the two guys ahead of him have been fantastic. He’s ready – it’ll just be a matter of time before he gets a start.

“Hopefully he’ll make the most of his time on the pitch this season.”


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