Liam Manning was pleased to see his MK Dons side bounce back from successive defeats by beating Morecambe 2-0 at Stadium MK.
Manning’s Dons returned to winning ways on Saturday after goals in each half from Harry Darling and Daniel Harvie ensured a confident victory in the team’s home finale.
“I'm really pleased with the response from the last two defeats,” Manning said in his post-match press conference. “The team ethic, culture, togetherness and respect we showed this week meant we were able to bounce back like that.
“We had really good control throughout the game. We were difficult to beat - I don't remember them having a chance, and that platform of being hard to beat and owning the middle of the pitch served us well.
“We passed with quality, and showed some good passages. We had a threat throughout and looked to hurt them all the time.
“We just needed a bit more quality in the final third. In both halves, we got into some dangerous areas but didn't quite make enough of it. But we did enough and that's the most important thing.”
The result means the Dons will, at the very least, finish fourth in Sky Bet League One this term, though mathematically they will still have an opportunity to secure automatic promotion this weekend when they travel to Plymouth Argyle.
“We'll look at (the scenarios) but, ultimately, we control what we can control,” Manning told the media. “We know we need to go to Plymouth needing to win.
“It’s important not to forget how far we've come - where the team finished last season and where they're at now is remarkable.
“We’ve got to step back and appreciate the bigger picture and see how much progress has been made. The players deserve all the plaudits for that because it’s brilliant what the group have done.
“But, we’ll enjoy it when the season is done because there is still so much football to be played but we won't take our eye off the ball.”
Here is what else Liam Manning had to say in his post-match press conference…
On Harry Darling’s goal…
“He's done (that run) a few times - even in the first half he stepped in and had a shot that went just over.
“At the start of the season, he was really eager to do it but he's really progressed and now he has the confidence and quality to do it, and he also knows when to do it.
“It was a perfect moment and shows the quality and physicality he has, as well as the technical ability to finish with that composure as well.”
On the defence dealing with Cole Stockton…
“We dealt with him really well. Cole Stockton has had a good season and carries a big threat because he can score from anywhere but we dealt really well with limiting the supply to him and then dealing with him when he did get it.
“The back three have been so consistent all season.”
On Daniel Harvie getting off the mark…
“It's about time! I've been getting into him that he needs to contribute! I'm delighted he scored though.”
On the impact of David Kasumu and Theo Corbeanu…
“I was pleased with their impacts. We need the squad to be prepared and deliver what is asked of you when the team needs it. Those guys stepping in, they did what the team needed.
“Sometimes you can want to impress by doing something out of the ordinary but that was not the case - we asked them to do the basics and then bring what they can to the team and they did that.”
On the fans’ support this season…
“The fans have been great and I'm pleased they turned out in their numbers to support the guys at the end because we wanted to show our appreciation to them.
“The game is about them and they are so important. I hope they've enjoyed the season so far and enjoy the remainder of it. It's a big thank you from me, the staff and the players for their support.”
Liam Manning and MK Dons travel to Devon on Saturday for their season finale with play-off chasing Plymouth Argyle, kick-off is at 12.30pm.
Tickets, which are available to buy from the Box Office and online, are priced at £25 adults, £20 over-65s, £15 under-23s, £10 under-18s and £7 under-12s while under-8s ticket are priced at £4.
To book tickets/travel CLICK HERE, visit the Box Office at Stadium MK or call 01908 622933. Tickets/travel will be available to buy from the Box Office until 4pm on Friday.