Defiant Martin won’t change philosophy



Posted Sunday, December 22, 2019 by PA

Defiant Martin won’t change philosophy

Manager Russell Martin is refusing to change MK Dons’ approach to away games despite an underwhelming 3-1 defeat at Gillingham.

Mikael Mandron and Brandon Hanlan scored within three first-half minutes while Max Ehmer wrapped up the three points after Alex Gilbey had threatened a second-half Dons comeback.

Defeat was an 11th in 14 league games for Dons but rookie manager Martin isn’t ripping up the plan any time soon, despite sitting in the relegation zone at Christmas.

He said: “There was a big difference between the first half and second half. We lacked a bit of intensity and aggression and Gillingham outdid us on that front.

“They’ve not cut us open nor had loads and loads of chances but whatever they have had has ended up in the goal.

“We’re learning lessons about our team and players every game. We’ve got a plan and this game doesn’t change that. We’ve got something that we can build off and that the coaches believe in.

“I’m not going to go anywhere away from home and set up to try to defend. That’s not us, that’s not in our DNA, that’s not in our philosophy.

“Their second goal is definitely offside but we should deal with the initial situation better. We’ll make sure that the officials are aware of that but it’s not the reason why we go and lose.”

Gillingham went ahead after 31 minutes when Olly Lee’s superb chip was met by Mandron, who glanced in, before the goalscorer – despite looking offside – set up Hanlan for 2-0.

MK Dons improved after the break and a brilliant individual goal from Gilbey after 52 minutes – with his side’s first shot on target – brought them back into the game, only for Ehmer to seal a sixth straight home win for Gillingham.

Manager Steve Evans said: “If we wanted to believe that last week’s point at Fleetwood was going to be a really good point we had to win against MK Dons.

“The only disappointment for me is that the game was not done and dusted after the first 45 minutes. They’re lucky it’s not four or five-nil at half-time.

“I’m really pleased with the first half. Their goal has a little bit of good fortune and then it’s all about our reaction.

“We had to remain solid for the next five to 10 minutes. It was brilliant to go up 3-1 with something we’ve been working on the training ground for the last few days.

“There’s only one or two players on the pitch who could do what Olly Lee does for the first goal.

“I wanted us to go into the January window within six points of contention. That’s still the objective as we go home.”

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