Martin warns against complacency ahead of Bolton clash

Bolton are a 'different animal' to the side which struggled at the start of the season, says Dons boss Russell Martin.

Friday, 15th November 2019, 2:05 pm
Russell Martin

Being dealt a 12-point deduction and playing with, effectively, a youth team to start the campaign, Bolton remain on minus points ahead of Dons' trip to the University of Bolton Stadium on Saturday.

But while their turmoil mean long-term boss Phil Parkinson would leave the club, new manager Keith Hill has brought about something of a turnaround for the Trotters, with three wins in their last five games.

With Martin still looking for his first win as Dons boss since taking over nearly two weeks ago, he is wary of taking Bolton, a team still bottom of League One, lightly.

He said: "It's a great place to go and play, I've played there a lot during my career. It's a team on the up, a manager and an assistant we know a lot about, but it'll be a test we're looking forward to.

"They've brought in some good players. They'll be demanding. They won't just write off this season. There are so many points to play for at this stage, no-one can be written off, regardless of the start. They're a completely different animal to the one they were at the start of the season. It will be tough.

"Getting that first win would mean a huge amount, and it'll make things easier for everyone. We need a result to get that belief back. What we've done in the last two weeks is bring that spring back into everyone's step. Their chests are out a bit more, and hopefully a win will get us started, and from there we can build.

"I'm excited about tomorrow. We've had two games I'd have liked to have won but the big focus has been on this one. Everyone has had a game to play themselves into this team. We didn't take those two games lightly and we wanted to win them, but I think the lads knew the big picture.

"I feel energised, it's the first league game, I'm ready for it, and we're going there feeling a lot more positive about ourselves. I'm hoping we can build on those two performances, there's just one bit missing at the end of it."