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Dons boosted by new arrivals and returning absentees

Russell Martin says squad has been energised by work in January...

5 February 2021

Russell Martin says the squad has been energised by the new faces that arrived at the Club in the January Transfer Window, as well as those players returning from injury.

MK Dons made seven signings during the window, including the Deadline Day captures of Zak Jules from Walsall and Sunderland striker Will Grigg.

Martin’s side has also been bolstered recently by the return to fitness of Louis Thompson and Andrew Surman, who is due back this weekend, while fellow midfielders Jordan Houghton and David Kasumu are expected to be available for selection in the coming weeks.

“The guys coming back, as well as the new guys, gives us some new enthusiasm and hunger,” Martin said in his pre-match press conference.

“Surs (Andrew Surman) has trained so he’s back in the squad for tomorrow. It will be good to have him back.

“Jordan is back in light training so he’ll start becoming more and more involved. He isn’t too far away and neither is David – they will both be back, hopefully, in the next week or two.

“With those options, our midfield is looking really strong and we’re going to need everyone because we’re basically playing half a season in three months. We’ll need the whole squad.”

Martin added: “The squad have embraced the new guys and are quite excited by the players who are coming back and that we’ve been able to keep hold of our top performers. That energy will give us a new dimension in the next few weeks.”

One January signing who has yet to make a start since arriving at the Club is Charlie Brown, despite impressive cameos off the bench from the 23-year-old striker.

Martin is happy with the progress Brown is making and believes it is only a matter of time before he makes a real impact on the pitch.

“He is progressing really well,” the boss said when asked about Brown’s development. “He hadn’t had much training before joining us because of Covid so he has taken some time to get up to speed.

“We are excited by Charlie, especially looking forward to next season. We knew that, technically, he is very good footballer – makes clever runs and a good finisher. But, he’s got more fight and aggression than I thought he would have at this stage and he’s surprised a few people in training with the intensity he wants to work at.

“He has a desire to fight for his place in the team, which is impressive. He’s certainly knocking on the door and it means we’ve got good options up there now with him, Griggy (Will Grigg) coming in, Joe Mason back to the Joe Mason we know he can be and Cammy (Jerome) as well.”

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MK Dons take on Sunderland this Saturday at Stadium MK, looking to make it five wins from seven matches in Sky Bet League One. Kick-off is at 3pm.

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!

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