Liam Manning was disappointed with Saturday’s result and performance but knows there is no time to dwell, with another game coming up fast.
Manning’s MK Dons were beaten 3-0 by Ipswich Town at Portman Road but have an immediate opportunity to put things right on Tuesday when they welcome Port Vale to Stadium MK.
“It's a tough one to take but we have to suck it up and learn from it so we progress and don't repeat it,” Manning said in his post-match press conference. “We can't dwell on it but we also need to make sure it hurts because you don't want it to happen like this again.
“Ipswich are a really strong side. They've got a level of consistency from last year but they've added well to it and I think they'll be there or thereabouts this season.
“That aside, our performance was not up to the levels required. The quality wasn't where it needed to be.
“(Ipswich) are a strong, experienced, physical, coached well and setup well with their press, and we showed some naivety playing into it on the left-hand side in the first half.
“I was pleased with how we started the second half and we had moments. We showed more aggression but the scoreline dictated the flow of the game.”
Manning added: “The players are disappointed, everyone is, but we have to learn quickly ahead of Tuesday.
“They need to reflect, be honest with themselves and take responsibility after Saturday and it's our job to challenge them to improve and get better.”
Saturday’s defeat leaves MK Dons without a point to start the 2022/23 season but Manning believes it’s important players, staff and fans remain patient as they bid to get off the mark this coming week at Stadium MK.
“It's tough to take for the fans, I know,” Manning said. “We got into a habit of winning at the end of last season which we got used to and liked but we've changed so much and we're not where we were at the end of last season.
“We're in the early stages of a long journey. We have to be realistic - we're in a transition, a rebuild, we've got new players and some key ones missing through injury.
“Our objective is to get there and the group has a lot of potential to get there. We've got a few young lads who will need time. We've just got to turn that potential into performance.
“It won't be a smooth journey in getting to where we want to be but when you're having a sticky period, as we are in this transition, the culture is to stick together and not get too emotional about it.”
Here is what else Liam Manning had to say in his post-match press conference…
On adding to the group…
“We'll hopefully have bodies returning in the next few weeks, and we'll be looking to add as well. It won't change massively in the next week, so some of the guys will have an opportunity to stake a claim to stay in the team, but we might have one or two different bodies back.”
On changing formation at half-time…
“The thinking was the area we were getting hurt in the first half in the space out wide. It gave us an extra player out wide, especially out of possession.”
Liam Manning and MK Dons quickly turn their attention to Tuesday and their Sky Bet League One clash with Port Vale 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.
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.
Can't make the game? Supporters can WATCH the fixture with Port Vale live on iFollow MK Dons for just £10 - to purchase a Video Match Pass CLICK HERE!