Martin wants to remove Dons' attacking anxiety

Russell Martin said Dons looked anxious in the final third against Port Vale but felt there were plenty of positives to take despite being knocked out of the FA Cup.

Saturday, 9th November 2019, 6:25 pm
Russell Martin

David Worrall's 19th minute header was the difference between the League One side and the League Two side in Martin's first game in charge. Despite a lot of huff and puff in the second half, Martin's side suffered similar problems experienced by former boss Paul Tisdale when it came to finishing their chances, with Ben Reeves, Jordan Bowery and Callum Brittain all firing wide of the mark.

"There was some anxiety in there, they need to be a bit more patient and calm," said Martin afterwards. "At the end of the day, where we were to what I saw today, I was really pleased. That's our foundation.

"It was disappointing to lose a game which we dominated for most parts, but I enjoyed it. It was a totally different defeat what we've seen recently. We've only had three days of work together and we saw together what we worked on – intensity to get the ball back, stop the other team playing be brave and play out, dominate the ball.

"I told them not to be too down. We've lacked in the final third, and that's something we have to work on. We cut them open a lot, there's just that final bit."

Worrall's first half header was the difference between the sides, but came just after a decent period of possession from Dons.

"It took a bit out of us," Martin continued. "We showed some resilience but it took our momentum. At the start of the second half, we came out and dominated. We missed a couple of good chances, and played a lot of the game in their half. It was a poor goal to concede, and we need to look at that.

"We should have done better with that first clearance. Other than that, they didn't really have many chances."