Martin's delight at 'outstanding' Dons after Portsmouth win

Russell Martin said it was as complete an MK Dons performance there has been in months after his side beat Portsmouth 3-1 at Stadium MK.

Sunday, 29th December 2019, 5:45 pm
Updated Sunday, 29th December 2019, 6:11 pm
Russell Martin

Goals from Rhys Healey, Conor McGrandles and Alex Gilbey made sure of the points before Ronan Curtis' stoppage time header prevented Dons from climbing out of the relegation zone at the death.

After the disappointment of the 2-2 draw with Southend at Roots Hall on Boxing Day, Martin predicted a turnaround against Portsmouth, and it got it in droves as his side kept Portsmouth's chances to a minimum to clinch a vital three points in their quest to escape the bottom three.

He said: "We've played a really good Portsmouth side who will be at the top end of the table at the end of the season. They're really well organised, with a good manager and good players. But we were outstanding and it's probably the most complete performance they've given.

"We're in the bottom three, and the courage with the way we've played – fair play to them for playing like that. The easy thing to do would be to smash it long and keep our fingers crossed. But we're trying to build something that keeps us up and something we can sustain. We need short term success, but I've got confidence in the lads.

"They edged it in the first 30 minutes but they're a good side, and any side will have a moment in a game. But although they were dominant, they didn't create much. We had numbers behind the ball and we looked dangerous on the counter. We just needed to tidy our game up a bit.

"It wasn't as clean, crisp or nice as it has been in the last five or six weeks, but it's the most complete. I asked for intensity and aggression and we got that.

"David Kasumu was superb, Rhys Healey was brilliant, Alex Gilbey in a different role too was excellent – I could name them all."