Russell Martin: MK Dons manager quits playing to focus on new role

Russell Martin
Russell Martin hopes to have an assistant manager and goalkeeping coach in place by next week

Russell Martin says he is retiring as a player to concentrate on his new role as Milton Keynes Dons manager.

The 33-year-old was appointed as Paul Tisdale's successor earlier this week, having joined the club in January.

Martin won 29 caps for Scotland and played 580 games for seven clubs in a 15-year career, including Glasgow Rangers, Norwich City and Wycombe.

"I'm all in on this, the management and the coaching stuff, to do both would be too difficult," Martin said.

"I'm comfortable with that, it might hit me at some point - I went to kick a ball today and it felt like I hadn't done it in six months, it's amazing how quickly you lose it.

"I'm excited about it, it'll look back on my career with real pride and real gratitude, I'm really grateful for the career I've had," he told BBC Three Counties Radio.

Martin was brought to the club by Tisdale and, after 34 appearances as a player, has now been tasked with improving their fortunes after defeats in nine of their last 10 League One games to slip into the relegation zone.

"I love the fact that I've got a real good relationship with all the players in there, I see that as a strength and I want to keep that warmth and care for the players the whole time and I want to improve them and improve us together," he added.

"But there will be a period of transition where they're getting used to me and I'm getting used to it, but I've spoken to every one individually this week and I've told all of them they'll get honesty from me at all times and consistency in how I behave towards them."