Wembley final is a 'massive carrot' for MK Dons

Russell Martin
Russell Martin

It may be a much-maligned competition, but Russell Martin says he is taking the Leasing.com Trophy seriously.

Without a win in his first four games as MK Dons manager, including a dead-rubber in the competition against Wycombe Wanderers, Martin sees his side take on Coventry City on Tuesday night in the second round.

Dons won the competition back in 2008, beating Grimsby 2-0 at Wembley, with 33,000 fans from Milton Keynes making the trip to the national stadium. Coventry too know what it is like to win the competition, lifting the trophy in 2017.

Desperately needing a win to get his side pointing in the right direction again, Martin says the incentive of silverware should be good motivation for his side.

"It's a game we want to win and progress in because there's a massive carrot at the end of it – a day out at Wembley and winning some silverware," he said. "People tend to take it lightly in the early stages of the competition, but as it gets towards the end, it becomes really serious.

"We really want to win. We've seen improvement game-on-game, but we have to go out and show what we're about. We need a win to get us rolling, in whichever competition, and we'll take it."

Coventry won the competition in 2017

Coventry won the competition in 2017

It has only been six weeks since Dons and Coventry last crossed paths, with the sides charing a 0-0 draw at Stadium MK - Dons' only point in 11 League One games.

And Martin says that game will give them a good idea of what Mark Robins will bring to Milton Keynes on Tuesday night.

He continued: "I really liked them when they came here - it was a good game on the day. It was probably a fair result, and we'll be aware of what they'll bring. But it's about us, how we can impose ourselves on the game, and that's what we have to concentrate on. I've got huge respect for what Mark Robins has done there under difficult circumstances too."