Everyone will play a key part in Dons' recovery

Russell Martin says those who are not playing regularly are fully supportive

Wednesday, 12th February 2020, 2:26 pm
Updated Wednesday, 12th February 2020, 2:30 pm
Regan Poole has been on the bench for most of 2020

Morale is high at Stadium MK at the moment, even amongst those who aren’t playing regular football.

Dragging themselves gradually away from the League One relegation zone, Russell Martin has taken a solid look at each of his players, and is beginning to find a regular core of 18 players he uses week in, week out.

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Dons are constantly improving - Poole
David Kasumu has been in and out of the side recently

For Martin, it is a balancing act between avoiding relegation and keeping his players happy.

“Everyone wants to play week-in, week-out and no-one wants to be sat on the bench,” said defender Poole, who returned to the side on Tuesday against Lincoln.

“You need to be ready when you’re called upon. We’ve got a great squad here, momentum is high, confidence is high, everyone is happy so we just have to keep going.

“I’ve not been playing as much as I’d like recently, but it was good to get a game.”

Conor McGrandles

Making two changes to his side on Tuesday night, Martin reintroduced Poole and Conor McGrandles to his side - the Scot being a regular until a foot injury ruled him out.

But with plenty of talent on his bench, and even left out of his matchday squads, Martin says the attitude of those who are not playing is impressing him even more.

He said: “We’re going to need everyone in the squad – I know it’s a cliché but it’s true.

“David Kasumu has played a few, missed out, come off the bench, taken off, but he has been massive. It’s a phenomenal achievement what he’s done this season.

“Joe Walsh will have his chance again too, but all of them have been exemplary. They have all been good team-mates. They’ve been a credit to themselves and the club.

“The same goes for Baily Cargill, who is out of the squad at the moment, which is frustrating for him, but he has been the biggest supporter of the lads. The way he celebrates with the lads, they way he is around his team-mates if we haven’t won is superb.

“That’s the culture we want to create. Everyone is in it together. They’re all ready now, they all know what we want, and when they come in, they’ll be ready.”