Alexander critical of striker’s fitness ahead of return from injury

The former Norwich City man must make fitness strides to get into Alexander’s plans
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Matt Dennis needs to improve his fitness significantly if he is to regularly feature in Graham Alexander’s plans at MK Dons this season.

The 21-year-old has missed the majority of pre-season through injury, and is edging closer to a return to training this week.

Dennis, who signed last summer from Norwich City, made 27 appearances for Dons last season before being loaned out to League Two side Sutton United for the second half of the campaign, but made just ten appearances for them.

His fitness levels prior to his injury were a concern for his new head coach and with a return to training now on the horizon for the striker, Alexander said Dennis will have to make big steps to improve.

“He's missed a big chunk of pre-season, and he needed to improve physically anyway,” he said. “So there's a lot of work for him to do to be available for selection.

“He has been around the periphery of the training pitch for the last couple of days so he'll be quickly back.”

Conor Grant trained the first few weeks of the pre-season campaign before picking up an injury. Pic: Jane RussellConor Grant trained the first few weeks of the pre-season campaign before picking up an injury. Pic: Jane Russell
Conor Grant trained the first few weeks of the pre-season campaign before picking up an injury. Pic: Jane Russell

Irishman Conor Grant is already back in training with the first-team again, like Dennis having missed a large part of the pre-season campaign through injury.

An unused substitute against Wycombe Wanderers on Tuesday night, Alexander said having the midfielder back, as well as Dennis too, will help give the squad more strength in depth.

He said: “Conor Grant has trained with us for a couple of days but because of the way the games have come, they've not been full sessions so he still has a bit to do because he's missed a lot of pre-season as well.

“It's important to get a lot of hard work into these guys because we need them, but you can already see the amount of strength the squad needs.

“We want to get to 70 minutes and make changes to improve the performance on the pitch, and these guys will help with that.”