Liam Manning praised a good evening’s work after MK Dons beat Burton Albion in their Papa John’s Trophy opener.
Manning’s Dons started their campaign with a 2-1 victory at the Pirelli Stadium, with both goals coming in the second half through Jay Bird and captain-on-the-night Harry Darling.
“Overall, a very good evening,” the MK Dons Head Coach said in his post-match press conference.
“Firstly, starting with the result, it’s nice to come away with a win. Winning is a really good habit, a really good cultural thing.
“Secondly, it was a really good opportunity to see some of the guys that, due to circumstances and the volume of games that we’ve had since coming in, I haven’t been able to see in games.
“Some of that will be down to a slow start in the first half – rustiness and being overeager to impress. Once we got through that, I felt we started to show more quality and in the second half we really start to settle down and show what we’re about.
“The guys really showed their attitude, commitment, their work ethic and fight – the things that are non-negotiable and that are our starting point every week.
“There was a five-minute spell where, naturally, they are chasing the game so can commit more bodies forward and be more aggressive with their press but we got through that.
“I’m really pleased with their game management again – whether that be keeping things in the opposition half or managing momentum. Collectively, they did that really well and they saw out the game and saw out the win - for a young group, that shows a good level of maturity which is pleasing.”
Manning added: “It only puts us in a good place for the rest of the season. We’re going to need everybody in the squad and it showed tonight that we’ve got good depth of being able to bring people in to have an impact.”
Here is what else Liam Manning had to say in his post-match press conference…
On Mo Eisa’s injury…
“He’s shown improvements. He’s had a scan (Tuesday) evening which I don’t know the outcome of yet. I’ll be speaking to Adam the second we get the results to see what his plan is and where he’s at.”
On the signing of Peter Kioso…
“Delighted he’s joining us. I have to give a huge amount of credit to Liam Sweeting, he’s worked extremely hard to get the deal done alongside the Chairman. He really adds to the character profile of the group – he’s young, he’s hungry and he wants to learn and get better. He’s got some really good physical attributes as well. The fact that he’s a local lad as well is a real positive thing as well. I think he’s going to play a key part for us.”
On keeping hold of key players…
“I see it as a huge compliment when there is interest in our players from clubs at a higher level. It shows that the recruitment has been done well, it shows that we are developing players and it shows the team are doing well because, ultimately, that’s why you get the interest. For us going forward, we’ve got such a good strong group that is only going to get better and improve. Being able to keep them altogether is a real good thing for us going forward. The consistency is great. It’s been an interesting couple of days but now we are settled and we can concentrate on working hard to improve the team and the players in it.”
Liam Manning and MK Dons return to Sky Bet League One action this Saturday when they hit the road to take on Cheltenham Town at the Johnny-Rocks Stadium.
Tickets are priced at £26 adults, £18 seniors/students and £10 under-18s, if bought in advance from the Club Ticket prices will increase on Saturday.
To purchase tickets CLICK HERE, visit the Box Office at Stadium MK or call 01908 622922. Tickets will be available from MK Dons until 4pm on Friday.