No fear for Martin and Dons heading into new season
"We have six weeks to learn and make mistakes and make sure we approach the season with no fear."
Starts to the season don't come much harder than MK Dons', but Russell Martin is staying philosophical with a little over a month to go.
Dons take on Bolton Wanderers, Sunderland, Charlton Athletic, Ipswich Town and Accrington Stanley in August - a real baptism of fire for the new League One campaign.
Nonplussed by the schedule though, Martin said there is a lot of time between now and kick-off on August 7, and he is only focussed on getting through pre-season for now.
"Everyone keeps saying it’s a tough start, but it doesn’t bother me," he admitted. "We focus on being ready for day one and enjoy getting to that point.
"I’m sure we’ll go through some sort of pain to get there, we’ll be as ready as we can, we can control today and that’s it. its part of our job to make sure we are ready for anything, it’s a while off yet, but it’s exciting to see where this team can go."
The squad returned to pre-season training on Monday and have four friendlies already pencilled in before the season starts, including an eye-catching tie against Tottenham Hotspur at Stadium MK on July 28.
Between now and the start though, Martin is eager to see his team bond more and continue to grow so they can hit the ground running.
He said: "I want to see us have a group of players that are hungry to improve upon what they did last season. In the next six weeks we need to enjoy it, enjoy working hard together, enjoy being together. We don’t have to live by the strict restrictions we did last year.
"I'm looking forward to seeing how much we can grow both on and off the pitch, when we get to the first day of the season I want us to have clarity and belief and strong body language in what we are doing.
"They really believe in what we do, they trust how we work and understand it lets them show how good they are. We have six weeks to learn and make mistakes and make sure we approach the season with no fear."