Defensive crisis deepens after Martin and Baudry injuries

Mathieu Baudry tried playing on with a head bandage
Mathieu Baudry tried playing on with a head bandage

MK Dons defensive crisis worsened on Saturday when Russell Martin and Mathieu Baudry suffered injuries, leaving Paul Tisdale with four centre backs on the sidelines.

With Jordan Moore-Taylor and George Williams already ruled out, Martin missed the game after picking up a knock earlier in the week, while Baudry suffered a head injury early in the second period.

Paul Tisdale shows his frustration

Paul Tisdale shows his frustration

It meant a return to centre back for midfielder Jordan Houghton, not seen in defence since the 3-1 defeat to Cheltenham on Boxing Day, as Dons beat Newport County 2-0 to remain firmly in the hunt for automatic promotion from League 2.

Baudry's injury, coming in his first appearance since New Year's Day was a real blow for manager Tisdale, who praised the French defender's performance.

"He was fantastic, probably our best player in the first half," said the manager. "I feel for him because he has waited fore his chance. I don't know what the injury was, I just saw he needed to come off and my thoughts were on what to do next.

"But it shows how we have to be adaptable, our players are beginning to develop into ones who can adapt our game. We toughed it out as a good unit today."

Jordan Houghton came off the bench to step into central defence

Jordan Houghton came off the bench to step into central defence

Houghton added: "Coming on I felt it would be a difficult 40 minutes. They didn't utilise it as much as I thought they would – I thought they would target me in the air, but it was a difficult afternoon for me. They've got two good strikers who were tricky up top, but we saw the game out nicely.

"The second goal killed the game off nicely. We looked a threat and we carried that through the game."

Given the shortage of numbers though, potentially missing four centre backs for the visit of Crawley Town to Stadium MK next Saturday, Ouss Cisse, who scored the opener against Newport, offered his services to step in in defence, and possibly even further back.

When asked if he could play in goal as well, Cisse said: "Maybe! I will try my best! I want to give everything for the team, for the club. I've played striker, number 10, now I'm playing as a midfielder, if I have to play centre back, I will play centre back. I just want to play and help the team."