Strikers returning shifts Martin's January focus

With Joe Mason and Rhys Healey on the scoresheet at Southend, and Sam Nombe turning provider, Russell Martin believes Dons' recruitment drive next month will focus on defence and midfield.

Thursday, 26th December 2019, 8:12 pm
Updated Thursday, 26th December 2019, 8:13 pm
Russell Martin

When the trio were out injured, the obvious area to strengthen was the front line as Dons struggled for goals and results. Now scoring though, with Mason and Healey netting at Roots Hall during the 2-2 draw on Boxing day, the problems in Dons' squad appear to be further back in the pack.

Since Martin and Ryan Harley switched their attentions from playing to managing the side, Dons now have just one 'experienced' head in the form of Dean Lewington, and the manager admits he needs more of that.

"I think there are key areas we need people in," he said at Roots Hall. "We've lost two experienced people in the dressing room, and we need a little bit of that guidance on the pitch – how to see out a game and what to do sometimes. We need more like that.

"We just need a bit more experience and people who can take a game by the scruff of the neck, who aren't scared of anything. It's a brilliant club to play for, and who wouldn't want to be a part of what we're doing?"

Nombe provided the assist for Mason's opening goal on 13 minutes, while Healey made an impact after just six minutes on the pitch as Dons took the lead for a second time, only to see it cancelled out within a matter of minutes.

Martin continued: "We've got two strikers who have scored and another with an assist. We just didn't get the ball enough to them in that second half. We didn't attack as well as we have been and didn't give enough chances to hurt the opposition. It was a good 60 minutes for Sam. He wasn't as effective as he was at Gillingham, but we don't want to put him through too much too soon. And Rhys came on and made a real impact. So there are positives. They will be big players for us."