Angry and disappointed players are galvanised after Martin departure

Sweeting believes the players will use their feelings positively heading into the first league game

By Toby Lock
Tuesday, 3rd August 2021, 12:25 pm
Updated Tuesday, 3rd August 2021, 12:26 pm
Dean Lewington leads training for MK Dons
Dean Lewington leads training for MK Dons

The MK Dons squad feel like they have a point to prove after Russell Martin left the club manager-less heading into the new League One season.

As speculation mounted on Friday night following Swansea City's official approach for the manager, the players headed into their Carabao Cup game with Bournemouth with a cloud hanging over them, and their second half performance appeared to have been impacted by it as they capitulated to a 5-0 defeat at the Vitality Stadium.

Having made three signings in his final week at the club too, Martin appeared to show no inclination, to his squad at least, that a move away was on the cards until he gave his final address to them at the full-time whistle on the south coast.

Supporters of the club have been vocal of their distaste for the outgoing boss, but Sporting Director Liam Sweeting said he felt animosity amongst the players too.

"I get a disappointed and angry vibe from the team," he said. "We have to use that as fuel to go into the start of the season. We have to be wary as well of the players who are upset and hurt by this. Everyone goes through the change process differently. But myself and the chairman are excited about what happens next.

"We all saw what was being built and we had a really good summer and were all excited for the season. So we've lost our manager at a time when fans are coming back and we were all excited to see what we can do.

"We appreciate of the position the players are put in, I won't put any expectations on them. But we hope they've got an extra bit of motivation now to prove a point to people that we're still here, still functioning.

"Football is about players who cross that line and take to the pitch. The players are the most important thing, and I trust them. The guys have set their own targets to what they believe is possible."