Dons ‘have got to get back to our identity’ says Player of the Year David Martin

David Martin was named Player of the Year on Tuesday night
David Martin was named Player of the Year on Tuesday night
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Player of the Year David Martin says Dons must get back to basics if they are to bounce back to the Championship at the first time of asking.

The 30-year-old goalkeeper was visibly stunned as his name was read out as Player of the Year on Tuesday night, as voted for by the fans.

Martin kept 10 clean sheets in the Championship, including in the 0-0 draw at Molineux against Wolves which earned him the Individual Performance of the Year prize.

But a broken hand has ruled him out since March, and Dons haven’t won a game in his absence all season.

The keeper must now wait until the pre-season friendlies before he will play competitive football again, though it will be in League 1.

Having spent five years in the division prior to Dons’ promotion last season, Martin believes the club know what it takes to win matches in the third tier, and they need to remember that when they being the new season in August.

“We know how to keep clean sheets in League 1,” he said. “We’ve got a winning style in League 1 too. When you’re not winning, it’s hard to play adventurous football. But we want to win games and it’s about getting back to our roots and our identity.

“I was 24 when I joined, and I’ve just turned 30. The experience I’ve gathered in that time hopefully will hold me in good stead. I’ve steadily improved, and hopefully I’m in my prime now. That’s the important thing for me.”

Despite not playing since March, Martin picked up the most votes from MK Dons fans to be named Player of the Year - an accolade which took him by surprise.

He said: “I’m absolutely stunned. Over the moon, but stunned!

“I’ve really enjoy playing this season, going to the ground we’ve been to and facing the challenges we have.

“We’ve kept 11 clean sheets, 10 in the league and I would have won this award without the lads in front of me.

“We’ve had to defend tooth and nail this year for some of the clean sheets, so they deserve it as much as me.

To get this from the supporters makes me feel wanted, which is a hard thing for a goalkeeper.

“You’re only as good as your last game, or your last mistake sometimes too. So to get this means the world to me.”

His manager Karl Robinson said Martin’s award shows just how important the keeper has been to their Championship efforts this season.

Robinson said: “It just goes to show what the fans think of David Martin and how he is foreseen within the club. I believe, if he stayed fit, we’d still be in the Championship.”