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Fixture News

Manning: We did what we needed to do to win

Head Coach Liam Manning reflects on his side's 2-1 win over Port Vale at Stadium MK...

17 August 2022

Liam Manning was happy to take substance over style following his side’s 2-1 victory over Port Vale.

Manning’s men secured their first win of the Sky Bet League One season on Tuesday, beating the Valiants at Stadium MK thanks to a brace from Bradley Johnson.

“We did what we needed to do to win tonight,” Manning said in his post-match press conference. “It's so important for the players to get that first win and hopefully now we can take it into the weekend.

“The players have had a tough start and you could see we were a bit edgy and nervous in the first 20 minutes but we settled a bit after the goal. We were the cause of our biggest problems in the first 20 minutes, we lacked control and turned the ball over too easily.

“We needed to be on the front foot a bit more in the second half with how they were pressing us (so we changed formation) to be a bit more aggressive. It showed at the start of the second half.

“We could have done without that (nervousness) at the end but, again, we did what we needed to do and it's massive for the players.

“We've got levels to go through and we can be better but after three losses and a difficult game at Ipswich (Town), ultimately we've won the game and that's the biggest reflection.

“That said, we can't get carried away, we have got to focus on doing it again on Saturday.”

Johnson was the star of the show for the Dons, netting twice either side of half-time with both goals coming from outside the area. Manning praised his experienced midfielder afterwards.

“Brad has been terrific since coming in, not just for his leadership but for his quality as well,” the MK Dons Head Coach said.

“He was hugely disappointed with himself at the weekend, so to respond and bounce back like that speaks volumes of him as a pro. His experience will be invaluable for the rest of the season.”

Here is what else Liam Manning had to say in his post-match press conference…

On the home fans’ impact…
“The fans are key to it. We've been open and honest about what we're going through in these early day. There is still an expectation so I don't want to make excuses, but the fans really can drive us through.”

On Dawson Devoy’s league debut…
“It'll be a proud moment for him and one he'll remember for a long time. Dawson is a good footballer, he's got a good footballing brain and little experiences like that, and his performance against Sutton (United), will help him. He'll play a part this season.”

On Matt Dennis’ performance…
“He put in a good performance. He's physical, plays to his strengths and his attributes. He caused problems with his running too. It's a terrific opportunity for him, and it has come a lot earlier than we all expected but he's been able to step in and lead the line.”


MK Dons go in search of back-to-back Sky Bet League One wins this Saturday when they take on Accrington Stanley at Stadium MK.

Tickets, which are available to buy now, 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.

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. Please note, ticket prices will increase by £2 on the day of the game.

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