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Fixture News

Programme notes: Andy Gibb & Liam Manning

The thoughts of Andy Gibb and Dean Lewington in the Burton Albion matchday supplement...

4 December 2022

Read the programme notes of Group Sales & Marketing Director Andy Gibb and Head Coach Liam Manning ahead of the Sky Bet League One clash with Burton Albion at Stadium MK...

Andy Gibb
A warm Stadium MK welcome to all, including the players, staff, club officials and supporters from this afternoon’s opponents, Burton Albion, as well as our match sponsors, TSYS Managed Services.

We took the decision to bring today’s kick-off time forward to 12.30pm to avoid any potential clashes with the FIFA World Cup Round of 16, involving England or Wales. While England will now play their first knockout match on Sunday, we wanted to make an early call to avoid any late changes this week – and it means you can watch today’s game here at Stadium MK and still be able to enjoy both Round of 16 ties!

I am sure some of you will be staying behind after this match to watch the build-up to the FIFA World Cup Round of 16 in Lewington’s - our designated supporters’ bar at Gate 5. We have worked hard to make improvements to Lewington’s after we were informed by the Local Authority that the area was non-compliant with fire safety regulations. I am pleased to report that the Bar now has furniture in place, multiple TV screens on the walls and, crucially, has had its personality restored through vinyls and images of the most iconic moments in the Club’s history – as chosen by you, the fans. I want to thank all those who have helped with the restoration of Lewington’s, including the MKDSA for their continued support.

The work done in Lewington’s is an example of what can be achieved through constructive, but positive, engagement between the Club and our fans and I am looking forward to meeting with our Supporters’ Board later this month to discuss all the topics that matter most to you. As always, the minutes from the meeting will be published on mkdons.com so that all supporters can stay up-to-date.

This afternoon we are excited to welcome Launton Under-12s to Stadium MK as part of the Club’s new Takeover Day initiative. Takeover Day allows any local junior Football Club to enjoy an MK Dons matchday seated together in the Family Stand as well as provide the Guard of Honour as the players make their way out from the tunnel and also parade around the Stadium MK pitch at half-time. If your club would like to experience a Takeover Day, please just contact the Box-Office or you can find further details in today’s Matchday Supplement.

We are also pleased to welcome Freddie and Hughie to the home of MK Dons today. You may have seen Freddie and Hughie on TV, discussing their challenge to run 1KM at every Premier League and EFL ground in aid of children's oncology wards around the country. The two decided to complete the challenge after Hughie was diagnosed with Leukaemia and their fundraising efforts have seen them awarded a Pride Of Britain award and raise over £250,000. We are honoured to have them here this afternoon and hope you will all stay in your seats at half-time to cheer them on as they complete their kilometre!

Looking ahead to what’s coming up at Stadium MK, we have another important Sky Bet League One fixture next weekend against Fleetwood Town, before we host Premier League side Leicester City in a Carabao Cup Fourth Round tie. We also have our Young Dons Christmas Party taking place here at Stadium MK on Monday 19 December and tickets for all three occasions can be bought from the Box Office or online at mkdons.com.

Enjoy today’s game.

***

Liam Manning

Good afternoon everyone and welcome back to Stadium MK. I would like to start by extending that welcome to Dino Maamria and his Burton Albion team.

Burton arrive here today with just two defeats to their name in their last 11 games across all competitions. They have proven a tough team to beat since Dino’s appointment as manager, even against some of the top sides in his division with draws against Plymouth Argyle and Peterborough United examples of that. We know we face a tough test this lunchtime.

Since my last set of programme notes, we have had some mixed fortunes in terms of results and performances. While we didn’t get the outcome we wanted against Derby County here at Stadium MK, there were a lot of positive signs in the display, though it was disappointing that we weren’t able to build on those positives the following weekend away at Barnsley.

The group, however, responded well for our Papa John’s Trophy tie against Newport County, producing a display that deserved the comfortable victory we enjoyed, and while we suffered defeat last weekend at Portsmouth in the Emirates FA Cup we, once again, played in a manner is expected of an MK Dons side – we were on front foot, we controlled the ball and created chances, and we limited them to very few opportunities from open play.

Given the position we are in, it is important that we focus on the positives in order to build some confidence and momentum ahead of some important fixtures coming up. That said, we know it’s paramount that we picking up points in the league – and on a regular basis – in order to claw ourselves back up the table.

We are up for that fight and, as Head Coach, all my energy is on ensuring these players are ready and prepared for today’s fixture and those we have coming up. I am strong in my belief that we have what it takes, as a team and as a staff, to produce performances and win matches in this league – now is the time we have to show it.

Enjoy today’s game,

Liam Manning


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