Russell Martin sung the praises of his MK Dons squad following their stunning second-half display in Tuesday’s 4-1 victory over Rochdale.
The Dons, who led after only five minutes at the Crown Oil Arena before being pegged back by their hosts, scored three goals in seven second-half minutes to secure a third away victory in four league games and move up to 14th in the Sky Bet League One table.
“I think the second half was as good as we've been for a long time,” Martin said in his post-match interview with iFollow MK Dons. “We rose above the conditions and the disappointment of the first half and played some outstanding stuff.
“I went in at half time a bit frustrated, and I let the players know that. We started well, but we put pressure on ourselves and got sloppy in possession. I asked them questions at half time but reminded them they were in charge of their own destiny.
“Fortunately, they showed a big mentality after the break and it was a fantastic second-half performance.
“The goals we scored were great but it was also the intensity they played at and the detail in the passing. We limited them to very little - I think they had one chance in the second half. We could have scored more too - we created a lot and looked so dangerous.”
Martin continued: “There has been a big shift in our mentality. We're starting to believe in ourselves.
“We don't fear playing anyone because of the confidence we’ve got. We try and bring our own identity and style wherever we go, and we try and play on our terms. It's not always possible, but we always try.
“That’s seven points from three games now so we've built up a bit of momentum and some good form. We look strong as a team and the team spirit is growing too.
“We won’t be talking about the play-offs, just as we haven't been talking about relegation. Psychologically, for the players and fans, it’s nice to see (us in a better league position) but it's my job to focus on the day-to-day stuff and we’ll see where that takes us.
“This year was always about improving the identity, improving the squad and results like this show that we're justifying that hard work.”
There were a number of standout performers in Greater Manchester, but Martin was happy to single out striker Will Grigg, who registered two assists in his first game back as an MK Dons player.
“Griggy is such a clever player,” Martin said. “His game isn’t just about goals, but it’s about the all-round contribution.
“I was disappointed for him not to get a goal because he certainly deserved one, but the two assists were of real quality. He also pressed hard, got himself in great defensive positions.
“We'll have to manage him over the next few weeks because he hasn’t played a lot of football recently but if he continues to play like that, he'll be a big player for us, no doubt.”
Russell Martin's MK Dons will look to make it two away wins in a week when they travel to second-placed Hull City this Saturday.
Due to the Government’s Covid-19 restrictions, the game will take place behind-closed-doors but MK Dons fans will still be able to watch the action ourtesy of iFollow MK Dons.
With an iFollow MK Dons Video Match pass, you will be able to watch Martin's side in action on your laptop, computer, tablet or mobile device! Want to watch on your tablet or mobile device? Download the new EFL iFollow App and watch on the go, wherever you are!
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