Talking points at MK Dons after their win over Wycombe Wanderers
There were plenty of reasons to be positive on Saturday night as Dons climbed further away from the League One relegation zone.
Here are the big talking points.
Injuries to strikers
As pleased as everyone was to be leaving Stadium MK with another win under their belts on Saturday, there was an air of concern for Rhys Healey and Carlton Morris, who both limped out against Wycombe. Russell Martin said he was hopeful that both injuries were caught early and would not cause him much of a headache going forward (we all remember the striker shortage of 2019...) especially with Joe Mason also currently sidelined.
Home form alone keeping Dons afloat
Now nine points clear of the relegation zone, almost everything seems to be going in the right direction for Dons... almost. The club still need to look back to September for their last win on the road, and that really needs to be addressed. Though five wins from the last six at Stadium MK is making it something of the cliched 'fortress' for the club, it will be points and wins away from home which will not just help them get further away from their troubles at the wrong end, and drag them into the choice midtable places.
Arguably Dons' best defender on his day, Jordan Moore-Taylor looked to be done and dusted at the club. A mysterious head injury and then a mysterious knee injury limited him to just two appearances under Russell Martin's guidance - Moore-Taylor's first manager other than Paul Tisdale. But back in the side in place of Joe Walsh, who has been excellent of late too, Moore-Taylor has taken his opportunity by the scruff of the neck and was instrumental in Dons' clean-sheet against Wycombe on Saturday. If Walsh wants his place back, he will have to seriously impress in training to dislodge JMT.
Deadline day anticlimax
Russell Martin had hoped for a couple of players in, and a few out as well, but Friday's transfer deadline day did not transpire quite like that. Bringing in goalkeeper Andrew Fisher from Blackburn was precaution in case Stuart Moore could secure a loan move elsewhere to get some football before August, but no-one left Stadium MK destined for pastures new at all. Pleased with his business overall though, two of his four incomings have already found the net (it would be asking a lot for Fisher to do that from his sole appearance on the bench so far) and Morris has added a dimension Dons haven't had for a long time.
Martin's long-term vision
Not on a short-term deal as reported elsewhere, Russell Martin has eyes for next season and beyond after closing his first transfer window. His job in January was to recruit immediate fixes to get Dons out of the relegation battle, and so far, that has worked. Now though, he will be keeping an eye on the summer window as he plans for life at Stadium MK next season. The pieces are starting to come together, Dons look a completely different team under Martin, and with a squad more of his own vision, they could spring a few more surprises next term.