Liam Manning has been named Sky Bet League One Manager of the Month for September.
In his first full month at Stadium MK, the Head Coach led MK Dons to 11 points from an unbeaten five games while scoring 10 goals and climbing a total of eight places in the Sky Bet League One table.
Amongst five September matches were impressive home wins over Portsmouth and Wycombe Wanderers – both to-nil – as well as a 4-1 thrashing of Gillingham at the MEMS Priestfield Stadium. The Dons also picked up a point away at Cheltenham Town and at home to Fleetwood Town in a thrilling 3-3 draw.
“It’s an honour and a privilege to win this award but it’s important for me to highlight that this is a collective effort,” Manning said upon being named Sky Bet League One Manager of the Month for September. “This award is for everybody at MK Dons.
“Our form and success in September was a result of everybody’s hard work – the support staff who have worked tirelessly to prepare the players to go out and perform and, ultimately, the players themselves for producing performances on a matchday.
“It’s been a really good start to the season for us but it’s a long season - we have to keep pushing and fighting to sustain our level of performance and continue producing results for the Football Club.”
Manning was shortlisted alongside Lee Johnson (Sunderland), Ryan Lowe (Plymouth Argyle) and Leam Richardson (Wigan Athletic) but has been selected.
He becomes the fifth man in charge of MK Dons to win an EFL Manager of the Month award and the first since Paul Tisdale in October 2018.
Former MK Dons boss Danny Wilson chairs the Sky Bet Manager of the Month judging panel. He said: “Hitting 10 goals and playing some exciting football, Liam has calmly steered MK Dons into third place in Sky Bet League One.”
Sky Sports’ EFL pundit Don Goodman said: “It’s never easy taking a job in the circumstances Liam Manning encountered, but the 35-year-old hasn’t been even briefly fazed, as he’s quickly settled into life as the big boss at Stadium MK.
“What could have been a disastrous start to the season has turned into a strong run of early form, with MK Dons unbeaten in September, while picking up a useful 11 points, a magnificent effort.”
Sky Bet EFL trader Ivor Davies said: “Liam Manning’s MK Dons went unbeaten during September, winning three and drawing two of their five league matches as they climbed into the Play-Off places and into 11/4 to be promoted this season.
“Manning was only appointed in August after Russell Martin left for Swansea and at that point The Dons were a 6/1 chance to be promoted.
“After losing his first game in charge, Manning’s side then went nine game undefeated to steady the ship and now look like promotion candidates.
“We rate MK Dons as the fifth best side in the division, and have been impressed with what Manning has done so far.”
Meanwhile, Scott Twine missed out on the Sky Bet League One Player of the Month honour.
The MK Dons number nine hit four goals in five appearances during September, as well as providing an assist, but was pipped to the award by Morecambe's Cole Stockton.