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Lessons to take from Villa defeat

27 October 2021

Tuesday’s Papa John’s Trophy tie against Aston Villa was a chance for Liam Manning to hand valuable minutes to those on the fringes of his squad.

The Dons Head Coach feels there were some valuable lessons to take from the clash as a number of his squad played 90-minutes for the first time in a few weeks.

“It was a difficult game for the guys,” Manning told the local media. “Some of them haven't played in quite a while, so they're lacking match-sharpness and they've not played a lot as a team either, so there's not that rhythm or being on the same wavelength.

“There were some really good moments but some sloppy moments too which we won't be making excuses for, but there were pleasing aspects.

“It was great to get a lot of our players 90 minutes, so there were a lot of positives. For the last 25 minutes of the first half, we controlled the game but we conceded at a terrible time. 

Both Troy Parrott and Max Watters found the back of the net for MK Dons in the defeat with Manning pleased to see his strikers get on the scoresheet.

Confidence-wise, it's always good for the front men to get some goals. I'm pleased they got through the game.

“We should have scored more to be honest, we looked dangerous and a handful on the counter-attack. It's about having that ruthlessness, that edge and that quality when you get that opportunity to punish them, you have to make sure you do it.”

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