Matthew Crichton: Russell Martin left MK Dons to become Swansea’s manager earlier this month. Did that decision leave a sour taste or were you pleased to see him move on to bigger things?
Joe Friess: I think of all things the timing left a very sour taste, especially given what he said in interviews just a day before. It makes sense and is a step up, however the timing was not ideal.
MC: 35-year-old Liam Manning has been appointed as his replacement. What can you tell us about him and are you pleased with that appointment?
JF: Yes I am happy with that. He is a head coach from within the city group, so he must have some pedigree, and it looks like he will slot straight in and continue the good work Russell Martin started.
MC: Following the above-mentioned managerial controversy, what are your expectations for the club this season?
JF: I think a playoff push is on the cards. It may take time to get going but this is a good squad with some exciting players, Manning has a great base to work from.
MC: Will Grigg remains at Sunderland despite a successful loan spell at MK Dons last season - were you disappointed to see him not return?
JF: Yes and no. I would have liked to see him back at the start of the summer, but having said that, I think he would command high wages and he is an ageing player. As we have signed Troy Parrott, Mo Eisa and Max Watters I am not too concerned with re-signing Will Grigg.
MC: MK Dons signed ex-Sunderland player Ethan Robson on loan from Blackpool. How has he performed so far and do you think he’ll be a regular starter?
JF: With our main defensive midfielder out in David Kasumu, Robson should be starting. He was one of our better players in our first league match and adds some energy and quality to the midfield. Once Josh McEachran and Kasumu are back fit I don’t think he will start as much, but he is a great option to have.
MC: Your club have signed nine new players during the transfer window so far - which of them most excite you and why?
JF: Mo Eisa, as he was rumoured to be signed on a club-record fee. He scores goals and you know what you are going to get with him.
Also, Josh Martin is a highly rated winger from Norwich who will more than likely play wing back for us, he has bags of pace and skill. Lastly, Scott Twine is only 21 yet he had a superb season for Swindon/Newport last season, so hopefully he can continue in that vein.
MC: Who are the eleven MK Dons players who you believe will start against Sunderland?
JF: (3-5-2) Andrew Fisher (GK); Warren O Hora, Harry Darling, Zak Jules; Josh Martin, Matt O’ Riley, Ethan Robson, Scott Twine, Daniel Harvie; Mo Eisa, Troy Parrott.
MC: What style of play can Lee Johnson’s men expect to encounter during the match?
JF: We will get the ball down and look to play and we will press high and try and force turnovers. I would not be surprised if MK had most of the ball on Saturday and we will look to use our wing-backs to create chances during transitions.
MC: Lastly, what is your honest prediction for the final score?
JF: 2-1 to MK Dons, although I would not be surprised if it finishes 2-2 like last season!