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Boss bemoans poor start as winning run comes to an end

Russell Martin reacts to Tuesday's defeat to Shrewsbury Town...

24 February 2021

Russ lamented a poor start from his MK Dons side, whose winning run came to an abrupt end with a 4-2 defeat to Shrewsbury Town.

The Dons were stunned by three goals in the opening 20 minutes of action at Montgomery Waters Meadow, and were never able to truly recover despite Will Grigg and Charlie Brown both getting on the scoresheet for the second straight game.

“It was game over after 20 minutes,” Martin said in his post-match interview with iFollow MK Dons. “It was a really disappointing start.

“Everything we spoke about, to be aware of and what to do right, we didn't do. We lacked the intensity and aggression that they had and I've got no excuses for it, really."

Two of Shrewsbury’s first three goals were from the penalty spot and while aggrieved at the first call, Martin understands why both decisions were made by referee Leigh Doughty.

“The first decision, I can see why he's given it but on closer inspection he's just jumped into Ben (Gladwin). The second one is a handball.

“I think we played with more urgency after that and Griggy's goal gave us a bit of hope. We then shot ourselves in the foot and gave them the goal in the second half which killed the game. Until then, we thought if we could get a goal it would have made things interesting.”

The defeat saw MK Dons fail to stretch thieir winning run to four games and was only the side’s first loss in six , which is why manager Martin wasn’t too downbeat at the final whistle.

“I can’t come out here and criticise the guys too much after the form recently. They've made big strides as a team and one defeat won't change my mind about them.

“We know it will be tough until the end of the season and results will go against us, from time to time.

“We've all let ourselves down for that first 20 minutes, but we have always bounced back from disappointment this season and we have to do that on Saturday.”

Finally, Martin provided an update on the fitness of midfielder Scott Fraser who was absent on Tuesday evening due to injury. The boss hopes to have his number 10 back involved this weekend.

“Scott took a knock on Saturday which he couldn't shake off in time for tonight,” Martin revealed. “If we'd played him tonight, it would have affected him for the weekend.

“It's nothing major so I’m confident he’ll be fit and ready (for Saturday).”


Russell Martin's MK Dons will look to bounce back on Saturday when they welcome Oxford United to Stadium MK.

Due to the Government’s Covid-19 restrictions, the fixture will take place behind closed doors but fans can still ensure they don't miss a minute of the action thanks to iFollow MK Dons.

Season Ticket holders will be able to watch the match for FREE. You will simply need to log-in to your iFollow MK Dons to view the game - click HERE for full information!

All other supporters will be able to enjoy the game by purchasing an iFollow MK Dons Video Match pass - to purchase a £10 Video Match Pass, click HERE and select Buy A Video Match Pass!

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