Poyet is ready to fill Potter’s shoes

Diego Poyet
Diego Poyet

Diego Poyet is relishing the opportunity to run MK Dons’ midfield in the absence of injured Darren Potter.

Potter has been ruled out for up to six weeks with a knee injury - a huge blow for Dons ahead of a month of big fixtures.

Darren Potter has helped Diego Poyet in the first few games at MK Dons

Darren Potter has helped Diego Poyet in the first few games at MK Dons

Since joining on loan from West Ham last month, Poyet has impressed in his three appearances for Dons earning high praise from manager Karl Robinson.

But while many have tried and failed at filling in for the absent Potter during his five years at the club, Poyet believes he has an understanding of what his responsibilities will be.

“It requires a consistent player, someone who doesn’t do anything brilliant but is massive for the team,” he said.

“I’ve enjoyed playing next to Pottsy. He’s helped me get to know the players and how they play. He’s an experienced pro, and helped be through games, both on and off the pitch.

“Losing him is a huge blow for the team because we all know what he brings.”

His first duty will be to break up play at the Riverside Stadium on Saturday as Dons travel to take on one of the favourites to win promotion Middlesbrough.

And with a short turn-around before Dons get back on the road again to play Burnley, who came down from the Premier League last season, Poyet knows it’ll be baptism of fire for him in the centre of the park.

But despite the opposition, he cannot wait to play his part.

He said: “People look at the next five game and think ‘corr, that’s tough!’ But we’re buzzing for them, they’re the games we want to play.

“Middlesbrough away, Leeds and Derby at home - they’re all massive for us.

“It’s two hard games away, and three big games at home too, and that’s where we want to pick up results.

“It’s a tough game to be going into after the international week, but we were disappointed to lose before the break and we’re looking to put things right.”

Poyet has been a part of the Dons squad for less than a month after signing on a season-long loan on August 19.

But far from feeling like the new boy at school, Poyet thanked his new team-mates for making him feel welcome and helping him settle in.

“I’d like to say thanks to all the lads,” he added. “I’ve got to know everyone, they’ve made me feel comfortable and taken me out for dinner when I’ve been stuck in the hotel on my own all day! They’ve all made me feel welcome.”