Liam Manning couldn’t hide his emotions after MK Dons’ controversial exit from the Emirates FA Cup tie.
Manning’s side looked on course to progress to the Second Round after taking a first-half lead against Stevenage at the Lamex Stadium.
However, a contentious red card shown to Josh Martin forced the Dons to play the remainder of the tie with 10 men and, despite taking their opponents deep into extra-time, they weren’t able to prevent Stevenage from sealing victory.
“Aside from the emotional side and the disappointment, our feeling is frustration more than anything,” Manning said in his post-match press conference.
“Pre-sending off, I was not happy to be honest. We lacked quality and discipline and we made too many mistakes. Knowing what they're capable of and not hitting that is where that emotion comes in. We cannot start games like we did again.
“We started to get into the game a bit after the goal but then the (red card) decision comes. After the sending off, we worked hard, we showed some character and we showed some real togetherness.
“The game was ruined by a terrible decision, ultimately. I've seen the video back – his arm is up slightly, but there's no slap or any intention to it.
“Players have to keep their discipline, but when it was so inconsistent and so poor it's difficult to. I won't single anyone out for that because I understand players' frustrations.
“I have no issue losing games when it happens on the pitch, not by poor decisions. It's a shame an FA Cup game was ruined by a decision.”
Liam Manning and MK Dons turn their attention back to Sky Bet League One football this Saturday as they go in search of a third straight league win against Burton Albion.
The match has been designated as a Family Fun Day which means tickets have been discounted to a rate of just £10 adults and £1 under-18s while there will be a host of activity taking place in the Marshall Arena prior to kick-off, including live music, inflatables and football activities!
To purchase tickets CLICK HERE, visit the Box Office at Stadium MK or call 01908 622922.