Martin pleased with local Papa John's Trophy draw

Dons will travel the short journey to Northampton in the next round
Dean Lewington in action against NorthamptonDean Lewington in action against Northampton
Dean Lewington in action against Northampton

He would have preferred a home draw, but Russell Martin said he was pleased to have drawn nearby Northampton Town in the last 16 of the Papa John's Trophy.

Just 23 miles separate the clubs via the M1, and they have already crossed paths twice this season, with Dons winning at Stadium MK before sharing a 0-0 at the PTS Academy Stadium last month.

While Dons were emphatic 6-0 winners over Norwich City U21s on Tuesday night, Keith Curle's side beat Exeter City 2-1 at St James Park to book their spot in the last 16.

"It’s a tough game but I’m really pleased it is a local one," said Martin. "I’d have liked it at home, but with the pitch I’m pleased we can avoid a game on it.

"It’s a tough draw in terms of fixtures and against a very organised team. It’s a good opportunity for us and we don’t have to worry much about travel."

The manager has spoken often about the importance of the competition, with the opportunity to play at Wembley on offer for those who reach the final.

He added: "Any good player should never ever take a game of football for granted, we’ve a lot of league games before then and we’ll be looking to progress into the next round.

"We’ve treated it with importance and respect because it becomes real very quickly and the reward becomes closer and closer. If you look at our half, we’ve been given good close games. I don’t know the shape we will be in then but it will be a strong team as we look to win the game."