Kasumu has a great role model in Surman
"Playing alongside him and watching him in training is only going to improve me"
After Andrew Surman praised David Kasumu last week, the 20-year-old has returned in kind.
Kasumu made his first start since December on Saturday in the 1-0 win over Portsmouth and put in a man of the match display for the 65 minutes he was on the field. Following the praise from Surman though, he responded in kind by saying how much he is learning from his team-mate since he signed earlier this season.
"Andrew Surman coming in from the Premier League, playing alongside him and watching him in training is only going to improve me," said Kasumu. "There is a long way to go, I've got a lot of improvements to make, but if I keep working hard and taking things in, I'll continue to improve.
"It helped me coming off the bench to get back into it, to get my match sharpness back. To start on Saturday was great. It was a feeling I've missed being out for so long. To finally be back in, getting 60 minutes and the win, it's all I could ask for."
Greatly missed in the Dons midfield when he was sidelined, Kasumu's influence on the team was arguably heightened in his absence. Emerging as a surprise package last season under Paul Tisdale, Kasumu said his improvement over the last two years, coinciding with Matthew Sorinola's rise this season too, comes as a result of how Dons are set up to play.
He said: "It's a system we all want to play, it's total football and the demands are high so it will only ever improve us. We have to concentrate all the time, and at the end of the day, we're maturing as players, we're getting more experienced.
"Matty made his first league start at the beginning of this season, and 30, 40 games later, he's a different player. As you play more games, you tend to get more confident and comfortable with what you're doing.
"Since Russ took over, he has put a lot of faith in me, We've had numerous chats about what he wants me to do on the pitch. I know what he thinks of me, and it's nice to have a manager who backs you all the way. It's a great feeling, it gives you the confidence to go out and do what you have to do on the pitch knowing you've got backing behind you."