Ethan Laird outlines his hopes during loan spell with MK Dons

Manchester United defender Ethan Laird join MK Dons on loan last week.

The 19-year-old has already made his debut for the League 1 club in an FA Cup tie where they took Burnley all the way to penalties.

They eventually lost the shootout but speaking to the club’s website, Laird has thanked his new manager Russell Martin for throwing him straight in.

He has also given an indication of what the club’s fans can expect from him during his time there.

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“I want to bring excitement. I want to be that player where, when I get the ball, people are wondering what I’m going to do next. I need to focus on my defending but hopefully when I get the ball, there can be fireworks!

“I have the licence to do that here. [Last week] was a bit hectic so I want to thank the manager for giving me the minutes he did.

“This week is about making sure I’m ready for Saturday – I’m going to be ready for that one and hopefully the manager will play me.”

“We as Man United players have that winning DNA so hopefully it will be easy for me to get adjusted, but that’s why I’m here – to gain that experience.”

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Laird found himself behind Brandon Williams – who has been struggling for gametime himself – in the full back pecking order at Old Trafford.

That means it made sense for him to go out on loan and try to battle for a spot in Martin’s side.

Loan spells are important for the development of young players – for some it’s the first time they’re playing in games which really matter, under big pressure.

Playing against Premier League opponents in a cup tie last weekend was a big step in Laird’s progression and league debut against Peterborough this weekend would be another.

He certainly seems to have his eyes on getting forward from full back to contribute in attack, which is an area Aaron Wan-Bissaka struggles in the first team.

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Sam Preston is an NCTJ gold standard news and sports journalist who studied with the Press Association. He also has a 2:1 law with French law degree from the University of Birmingham, which included a year studying at Bordeaux Montaigne University. He is an FA Level 1 football coach who appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show in 2018 and has also written digital football content and match-day programme pieces for Colchester United, Mansfield Town and Stockport County.