Manchester United loanee Ethan Laird disappointed MK Dons manager Russell Martin as they lost to Charlton Athletic last night, as reported by the MK Citizen.
Charlton had won just once in eight matches heading into last night’s tie, which was decided by a loan player. Liam Millar, on loan from Liverpool, bagged the only goal of the night in the first half.
Conor Washington’s cross found Millar in space, and the Canada international confidently slotted past keeper Alex Fisher to open the scoring. Charlton had started brightly, with Fosher already denying former Exeter City man Jayden Stockley.
Joe Mason hit the post for the home side, whilst Laird was also involved in a chance, Ben Amos having to come out bravely at his feet to help the Addicks keep a clean sheet.
After the game, MK Dons boss Martin had this to say about Laird, who has appeared twice for the Red Devils: “Ethan has a lot more to come, I was disappointed in the final third with him tonight.
“He’s shown glimpses and is coming up to terms with League One football. He’s shown his outstanding ability, he’s now got to perform on a consistent basis and understand what it’ll take to be a top player.”
Martin did, however, add that the 19-year-old, who has turned out four times for MK, does have a big role to play in the second half of the season.
“He can be really exciting and powerful, and tonight he had more chances to be aggressive and sometimes chose the safer option. It’s understandable. He’s going to be a very big player for us.
“We have to be honest with these guys and push them to be better. Tonight he had a big chance and that’s probably why I’m disappointed.”
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We haven’t kept up with all the latest events here on the site, but it doesn’t mean we haven’t been watching, and this transfer is one that could have a huge impact. Laird is highly-rated at Manchester United and has a Europa League start to his name, so he now needs senior football to progress.
It is never nice to see a manager criticising a loan player, we saw it earlier in the season at Bolton and it isn’t a good look. That said, Martin spoke in the heat of the moment and made sure he added that he knew the player could do more. One big part of a senior loan spell is rolling with the punches and taking criticism on the chin, which we’re sure Laird will do.