Liam Manning knows that it will take time for his new-look MK Dons side to reach their maximum but wants improvements to be made quickly in order to improve on Saturday’s season-opener.
The Dons, who handed out nine debuts, were punished for a disappointing first-half performance as they were beaten 1-0 by Cambridge United at the Abbey Stadium.
An improved display after the break does breed confidence that the Dons will soon find their grove and the Head Coach has already pinpointed areas in which development can be made.
“It does take time to gel but it's on the players to do that quickly because we have to win these matches,” Manning said in his post-match press conference. “We quickly have to put things right that weren't today.
“We started the game well but, after that, I was disappointed with the first half in terms of our discipline, doing what we do and what we know what we're capable of. It was more on us really, that first half, and then we conceded a poor goal.
“It was a long ball, a second ball and then straight through the middle of us. We worked hard in pre-season about owning the middle of the pitch and being hard to beat so to concede like that is immensely disappointing.
“Then, we had complete control in the second half. I don't remember Jamie (Cumming) having anything to do. The control and quality was better but there were still moments of sloppiness which we have to learn quickly from if we are to pick up results.
“We also have to sustain the intensity, and in the second half we could have taken more risks and cause more problems. We had a couple of moments, Kempy (David Kemp) had one at the start of the second half, but not enough.”
Manning added: “How we're asking them to play and how we're challenging the lads is new for a lot of them but I don't want it to be used as an excuse. We've just got to suck it all up and move on next week.
“The beauty of League One is it's thick and fast and relentless. You haven't got time to feel sorry for yourself.
“I said it a lot last season – it’s important we don’t get too high and or too low and that is the same this season too while we're learning and improving.”
Here is what else Liam Manning had to say in his post-match press conference…
On the substitutions…
“The changes made a positive impact. Daniel (Oyegoke) hanged things down the right and you could see his physical qualities too. We have a lot of new additions, and this was a good opportunity to give them some minutes.”
On Josh McEachran…
“He felt his groin a bit. He was sore and didn't feel like he could carry on so we'll go away and look at it.”
MK Dons will look to bounce back this Saturday when they take on Sheffield Wednesday at Stadium MK.
Tickets are priced from £24 adults, £18 over-65s, £12 under-25s and £6 under-18s while under-12s and under-7s tickets are priced from £3. Upgrades are available to East Centre and Club Red. Please note, ticket prices will increase by £2 on the day of the game.
To book tickets CLICK HERE, visit the Box Office at Stadium MK or call 01908 622922. Tickets will be available to buy right up until kick-off from the Box Office but ticket prices will increase by £2 on the day of the game.