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Fixture News

Manning: Frustration at costly three-minute spell

Head Coach Liam Manning reflects on Emirates FA Cup draw...

8 November 2021

Liam Manning was frustrated by the three minutes which cost his MK Dons side the chance to book their place in the Second Round of the Emirates FA Cup on Saturday.

The Dons' First Round tie with Stevenage will go to a replay in Hertfordshire after the two teams played out a 2-2 at Stadium MK.

Both of Boro’s goals came within the space of three second-half minutes - a source of frustration for Manning, even though the Head Coach was pleased that his side were able to fight back and keep themselves in the competition.

“It's five minutes which have tarnished the result and our thoughts on it,” the Head Coach said in his post-match press conference. “It went from total control and being on top to five minutes later giving away some poor goals and chasing the game.

“The first half was okay. We had periods where we controlled it but I was actually really pleased with the first 20 minutes of the second half – I made a tweak which I felt helped, the guys delivered it quite well. We had a lot more possession around the edge of their box.

“But, we didn't deal with their changes when they changed their system and within five minutes we were 2-1 down.”

Manning continued: “It’s not been a straight-forward week for the guys but that's not an excuse. I was really excited by the team we put out and for 90 per cent of the game I was pleased, it was just that crazy period where we let them back in.

“I have to take my hat off to Stevenage but at 1-0 up, we have to see the game out. We have to learn.”

The Dons enjoyed dominance over their opponents throughout most of the tie but were unable to create too many clear-cut opportunities against their low block – which, at times, saw Stevenage have nearly every player behind the ball.

“I have to give credit to Stevenage,” Manning said. “They worked hard to come here, set up the block. Any time a team comes here, does that and works as hard as they did, it makes it difficult.

“You will never create loads when they have seven, eight, nine, sometimes ten men behind the ball in the middle. It’s something we have got to look at because we have to expect it more times in the coming months.

“It’s a case of having to beat it. We have to encourage the players to be braver, to take more risks, to try things.”

***

Liam Manning and MK Dons turn their attention back to Sky Bet League One this Saturday when they take on Cambridge United at Stadium MK.

Tickets are on sale from the Box Office and online priced at £22 adults, £17 over-65s and £7 under-18s while under-12s go FREE.

This match has been designated as Armed Forces Day, which will see various themed activities taking place throughout the day as well as discounted ticket prices for serving members and veterans of the Armed Forces as well as other uniformed organisations - CLICK HERE for more information!

To purchase tickets CLICK HERE, visit the Box Office at Stadium MK or call 01908 622922.


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