Russell Martin hails ‘outstanding’ team effort as MK Dons make late breakthrough
Russell Martin paid tribute to an “outstanding” MK Dons performance after Daniel Harvie’s strike secured a 1-0 win over Doncaster.
The Scottish full-back cut in on his right foot in the 76th minute and fired in his deflected shot to break Rovers’ resistance.
A string of smart saves from Louis Jones had kept the home side at bay but he was finally breached in a dominant Dons display.
“It was a brilliant performance, I don’t take any of these performances for granted, on a tough pitch against a very good team,” said manager Martin.
“To limit them to one shot on target is an outstanding effort from the group, I think the only frustration is we didn’t score earlier and we didn’t score more.
“Their keeper made some brilliant saves, so overall I thought there was some outstanding individual performances and a really, really good team performance.
“I’m proud of the group, and to get through it the way they did with the dominance they did was fantastic.
“They had one shot on target which Andy Fisher made comfortably and Harry Darling made two really good blocks, they never really had any sustained period of pressure.
“I thought we were great in the first half especially, a lot of chances, I’m glad we kept a clean sheet and I’m really pleased for the group.”
Donny stopper Jones had earlier denied Harvie by parrying his effort onto a post before rebuffing Will Grigg’s rebound.
The academy graduate had also thwarted Grigg’s downward header in the 28th minute and tipped Louis Thompson’s effort over the bar 40 seconds after the break.
But Harvie’s first goal of 2021 sealed a fourth win in a row for the hosts, while Doncaster slip out of the Sky Bet League One play-off places having won just two of their last 12.
“We had a plan to nullify MK Dons and it worked to an extent, we were unfortunate with the goal that took a deflection off the defender’s head and past Louis,” said interim manager Andy Butler.
“What I felt we really lacked was in the final third. It’s something we’ll address, I want to take the pressure off the players.
“I think they’re really feeling the pressure in the final third whereas early on this season it was more off the cuff and not being predictable.
“We had a couple of chances from our press, we just lacked that clinical final pass, as much as we did with the ball we never really tested their keeper.
“There’s no split camp here or anything like that, we’re in a good position, we want to get better as a squad and it’s just helping each other through it.”