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Sweeting: We are stronger but now it's time to deliver

Sporting Director Liam Sweeting on the January Transfer Window...

1 February 2023

With the January Transfer Window shut, the focus now for MK Dons is on turning their potential into performance and picking up the results required over the next 18 games to retain their Sky Bet League One status.

The Dons completed their winter business late on Tuesday night with the loan signing of Anthony Stewart – an experienced central defender from Aberdeen, who made over 290 appearances for fellow Buckinghamshire outfit, Wycombe Wanderers, before his move north of the border.
Stewart’s arrival made it five new additions to the squad this month, following the signings of Jonathan Leko, Max Dean, Paris Maghoma and Sullay Kaikai – moves that MK Dons fans will hope can bring success during the final three-and-a-half-months of the campaign.
Reflecting on the window, Sporting Director Liam Sweeting told iFollow MK Dons: “I think it’s clear to say we're in a stronger position than when we started the month.
“Everybody could see what we needed and the brief was absolutely clear. What helped is that Mark, since coming in, has been extremely clear with his set-up of the team and with the way that he want to go about things.
“With how he wants to play with a 4-3-3, we knew we needed to strengthen in the wide areas and have people that could get us on the pitch, take the ball and carry it and the likes of Jonathan and Sullay, not only do that but also make us more physical and exciting and provide us with a goal threat.
“Both of them are coming off spells where they haven't been playing regularly so there's going to have to be a degree of patience with them but, of course, we are aware we need results and points now, so we have to get them up to speed quickly.
“In the middle of the pitch, Paris is somebody that we feel can carry the ball, take control in a deep position but also be able to contribute higher up by driving into the box.
“We also have the bonus of Max, who is someone who Mark has worked with before. I think we all got a small insight into what he is about at Forest Green - we all enjoyed that little cameo!
“On top of that, I’m quite excited with the opportunities that we've got for the likes of Matt Dennis and Dan Kemp, who are two players that we identified really needed an opportunity to go and play games. We will be monitoring their development really closely.
“The squad is still a little bit bigger than we would usually want to carry but that's something that we dealing with off the back of the amount of change that we had in the summer. What it does mean, is that competition is really high and we've got to use that to our advantage to  drive performance.”

Sweeting added: “Ultimately, these are just words and the focus now, for us, is on every single game between now and the end of the season.
“Every game is going to be an opportunity for us to strive towards us our target which, for this year, is obviously retaining our League One status.
“Things that I'm able to witness from my position tells me that we are getting better and I think there are moments in games where we are playing as well as we have done all year but now it's just about taking that across a full game, particularly in both boxes.
“I have full belief in the people we have, so now we have to strive to get as many points as we can to stay in the league and make good of all this work.
“I don’t want this to be a year that we’re just going to write off. We want it to be a year that we can come away stronger from, so that we can attack next year in a better position. We now need to go and deliver.”

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