Jackson offers a chance to impress and steer Dons’ recruitment spotlight

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Mark Jackson has urged the MK Dons squad to impress him during the next two weeks before they play again with the transfer window now open.

The new boss is yet to properly cast his eye over all of his players and has not got a game to play until January 14 when they host Lincoln City at Stadium MK.

With the side toiling in the bottom two of League One though, a point from safety and off the back of consecutive defeats, the recruitment process will need to nail it this month to bring in the right players to get the club out of trouble, but Jackson said he has faith in the current group - minus Dan Oyegoke who returned to parent club Brentford yesterday (Monday).

And with that time between games now, Jackson said every one of the players has an opportunity to stake a claim for a place in his side and potentially move the recruitment spotlight to different areas of the pitch.

“If anyone comes in, they have to enhance the squad,” Jackson said. “I'm working with Liam and the recruitment staff, we've all got ideas. I'm fully focussed on the squad here and the players we've got.

“They've been great since I got here, they've shown great desire to learn and get better and that will go into the next 12 days too as they try to impress me. They'll be trying to implement their style on me as well and trying to get a starting place.

“We've got a great group here already, and a club who are willing to look and help us develop.”

One thing Jackson has demanded of his side though is a new level of fitness and physicality. Last week, the head coach said he wants his team to be more physical - a potential area Dons will need to recruit this month - and fitter too as he looks to implement his style of play.

He continued: “We want to be more physically demanding of the players, we're asking their work-rate to be higher. We've played three games in a few days and we know it's a tough ask. We'll continue to rotate until we can fully adapt to how we want them to play.

“We can't coast through 90 minutes, we want them all in. If they get to 60, 70 minutes and their tank is empty, the next player comes on.

“That's the belief and understanding I want in the squad - everyone fighting and chomping at the bit to come on.”