Strikers must stake their claim for a place in Martin's side

Joe Mason and Kieran Agard are both out to make a mark on MK Dons' first team for different reasons in the next few weeks.

Monday, 2nd December 2019, 12:02 pm
Updated Monday, 2nd December 2019, 12:02 pm
Kieran Agard

Mason missed the first three months of the season through an injury picked up on the eve of the new season, and did not kick a ball Paul Tisdale - the man who signed him in the summer.

Agard meanwhile has struggled to make an impact since the club was promoted to League One. After topping the scoring charts in League Two last season, netting 22 times, Agard has scored just twice this term, but was sent off in consecutive games last month.

But after his Trophy red card was rescinded, and having now served his three-match ban, Agard is available for Russell Martin's side on Tuesday night against Coventry City and has a chance to make an impression on his manager.

"Everyone has the chance to stake a claim," said Martin. "We haven't done well enough for anyone to stake a claim. It's a real opportunity for (Agard) to stake a claim, and if he doesn't, he'll have to wait for his chance. But it's good to have him back in the mix.

"He brings a professionalism and a standard in his work rate on and off the ball. He's good for the group, Kieran, and I'm pleased to get him back and he will feature in the next two games in some capacity."

Mason scored his first goal for the club against Rotherham last time out, but after the long-term injury which ruled him out for so long, Martin is wary of heaping expectation on the striker.

He added: "We have to be careful with him but we've seen in glimpses what he's capable of. If you look at where he's come from and where he's been in his career, we know there's a really good player in there. It's about getting him physically and mentally ready to perform week in, week out.

Mason celebrates his goal against Rotherham

"He's really up for it, energised by what we've been doing in the last few weeks and he can see where he will fit into the way we want to play. If he maintains those performances, he will be a really good player for us."