Skip to main content Skip to site footer
Interviews

What was said: Thursday’s press conference

Russell Martin and Dean Lewington met with the media on Thursday...

22 July 2021

Russell Martin met with the media on Thursday, speaking virtually from MK Dons’ training base at St. George’s Park.

Transfer activity dominated the press conference, with the boss discussing the arrival of striker Mo Eisa as well as his plans to bolster the squad between now and the end of August.

Martin also addressed the latest situation with the Club’s outstanding free agents in Andrew Surman and Josh McEachran, as well as trialist Tennai Watson who has been training with MK Dons this summer.

Captain Dean Lewington was the player speaking to the media on Thursday. The 37-year-old is preparing for his 18th season with MK Dons and talked about his hopes for the 2021/22 campaign and what he's expecting from the division this term.

Here are some of the key quotes from Thursday’s press conference:

RUSSELL MARTIN
On Mo Eisa…
“It was rumbling on for a while until we got to a point where we could agree a deal. What’s got it over the line is (Mo’s) willingness and desire to play for us. It’s a sign that the Chairman is willing to give us as much as he can. What I would say is that the Chairman was willing to a deal before Scott (Fraser) left but that deal obviously did help it along. Him and Max (Watters) were our top targets for the striker position and we’ve got them both.”

On further signings…
“We have a few areas we still want to strengthen and that will be dictated by how we do over the next few weeks. We're open to a few positions and we have clarity in what we want in those. It will have to be someone we're aware of and someone we know what they can do on and off the pitch. I'm so happy with what we have now, the dynamic of the group but if we can add a little more depth I'll be even happier.”

On Tennai Watson…
“We've had Tennai Watson training with us. He's been impressive in the games and in training. I'd like him to stay and I think he'd like to stay so we're hoping to get something done there at some point. He's a really good player and he's fit in really well with the group. I hope to have news on that in a couple of days.”

On Andrew Surman and Josh McEachran…
“(Andrew Surman) is probably going to stop playing. He was ready to stop before he came to us but when you get to a certain age, there are more important things than football. You have to compromise and sacrifice a lot with your family to play football. Unfortunately for us, it's the decision he's made but we totally respect it. Josh McEachran is in the building with us. Unfortunately for him, he's had covid so he's getting fit again. We're constantly in talks with Josh about what the future holds and hopefully that'll be another one we can resolve quickly.”

On St. George’s Park…
“St George's Park is incredible. We spoke to (the players) at the start of the week to make the most of what they've got here. The pitches, the recovery centre, the gym, the food - the food is too good and the staff are probably eating too much!”

On squad depth…
“It will be hard to pick a starting line-up for every game, but that's what you want. There have been a few of them who have surprised us with how quickly they've taken on information, how quickly they've settled in and how good they've looked so far. It will be really tough for me, but we'll get to a conclusion and send out a team we're all happy with.”

On the final two friendlies…
“We’ve been able to organise games that have given everyone a lot of minutes. We are looking forward to the next two games – they’ll be tough tests for us. Then we’ll slowly realise how close we are to the start of the season.”

DEAN LEWINGTON
On St. George’s Park…
“To be here, with the pitches and the facilities, it’s amazing really. It shows what can be done. I know this is an extreme level, but if you can replicate it a little bit for our training ground it will be great.”

On pre-season progress…
“It's progressing and you can feel that now as the quality of the opposition ramps up. It's been really good and it has been a good camp. We've been relatively good with injuries, the young lads who have come up from the youth team have done well, and the new lads have settled in nicely. It has been a really positive few weeks.”

On calibre of new signings…
“It's nice that people respect the way we play and want to be involved - that's really good and a sign we're doing something right. We just want to win games and be successful. We've established a style now, it's about perfecting it, getting better at it to achieve some success.”

On standard of League One…
“It will probably be the toughest League One for 10 to 15 years. We have some big teams coming up, big ones coming down and some big ones who haven’t managed to get out yet. It will be a really tough league this year, but we're confident in what we do, and we'll give it everything we've got to make something happen.”

 


Advertisement block