Martin short on options for MK Dons' Papa John's Trophy tie at Northampton

Visitors hit by injuries
Russell Martin.Russell Martin.
Russell Martin.

MK Dons manager Russell Martin will not have the luxury of being able to make many changes to his team for their Papa John's Trophy last-16 tie at Northampton on Tuesday evening.

Dons are coming off a gruelling FA Cup defeat to Premier League Burnley on Saturday, in which they were taken to extra-time before losing out on penalties.

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But a mounting injury list means Martin has limited options available if he wishes to freshen up his team for their trip to the PTS Academy Stadium.

"We have two more really tough away games and we'll have to manage the players through the games – the story of our season," he said. "We've not been able to consistently put out our best 11 because of injuries and having to manage the squad.

"Most will have to go again, and though it's great to have so many young lads on the bench, it's a big ask for them to play week-in, week-out. But it's a game we want to win on Tuesday. We'll put out the best team we can to go and win it."

Assistant manager Luke Williams added: "It's always tough, Northampton. They're always ready for the physical challenge. The conditions will be difficult for us to play football on the ground as much as we'd like, so we'll have to compete on all fronts.

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"In the last game, we had so many chances and Northampton had to soak up a lot of pressure but they looked really happy to do so. We're going to have to try and break them down if they do that again, and if they come at us, we'll have to defend against some direct football which they're excellent at at times. We have to be able to cope with that.

"We're out of the FA Cup which we're disappointed about but it narrows our focus to the league campaign and this competition. It's a brilliant opportunity to go and play at the best ground in the world."