'Envious' Brady believes MK Dons set an example for Cobblers to follow

Martin's men top possession and passing stats this season
Jon Brady.Jon Brady.
Jon Brady.

Jon Brady admits he is somewhat 'envious' of the way Russell Martin has created such a distinctive 'identity' at Saturday's opponents MK Dons.

Martin took over as Dons boss in November 2019 and straightaway set about developing a very clear and attractive style of play.

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Dons' average possession count of 59 per cent is comfortably the highest in League One this season while they also have the best pass completion rate (82%). Cobblers, by contrast, rank near the bottom for both possession (44%) and passing (61%).

However, since Brady replaced Keith Curle, Town have adjusted their style by being less direct and more patient, and their progress will be given a stern test by Martin's improving team this weekend.

After a slow start to the campaign, MK Dons have steadily climbed the table and are coming off back-to-back away wins at Rochdale and Hull.

"For them to play the way they do, and to have an identity running through the football club, that's what I have dreamed of for this football club," said Brady.

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"We've talked about it for a long time, at least since I came in when I started with the U16s six years ago and then going on to the U18s. We've talked about it and we've talked about it.

"Maybe, maybe, now time is the time when we could potentially help with that. I'm very envious and I think it's only good for their football club."

Asked how he plans to counteract Dons' distinctive style of play, Brady didn't give much away.

"You'll have to see on the day what we do," he added. "But everything we do will be very positive!"

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It has been something of a whirlwind for Brady who only took temporary charge eight days ago but is already set to oversee his third game at the helm.

"I wouldn't say it's difficult because we don't see it as a negative and we have to adapt and find a way," he said. "We're working everyday to be better.

"We need to be clever in the way that we do things. It's not going to be 'oh, we can't fit this in, we can't do that' because we need to find a way with the time we have and what we want to do.

"For example, this morning (Thursday), I wanted to get some ideas out to the boys so instead of doing an analysis, I put it on a whiteboard and then they've done their pre-activation afterwards.

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"That allows them to talk about it before they go out. Then we went out onto the training ground and visually showed them how to do it and ran them through it. We'll go through it again tomorrow (Friday) and reinforce the message with a bit of analysis.

"As staff, we have an opportunity to improve these players for the greater goal of maintaining our League One status. We've got to do everything we can to find the best way to do it."