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Fixture News

Manning: A mature away performance

Head Coach Liam Manning reflects on his side's 2-0 win over Charlton Athletic...

23 February 2022

Liam Manning praised a mature performance from his MK Dons side after their 2-0 away victory over Charlton Athletic.

Goals either side of half-time from wing-backs Tennai Watson and Kaine Kesler Hayden, as well as a fourth clean sheet in seven games, saw Manning’s men pick up another three points on the road and consolidate their place inside the Sky Bet League One play-off places.

“We showed a real level of maturity and professionalism to get through the game and get three points,” the MK Dons Head Coach said in his post-match press conference.

“Slightly different performance (to Saturday). On Saturday, we defended really well and showed a real high level of maturity out of possession. Tonight, we used the ball really well and managed the game by keeping it.

“When you come to stadiums like this, against a big club with a big fanbase, you have to learn how to manage situations and flip momentum to get on top. We’ve really progressed at that over the course of the season and the challenge for the guys is to keep doing it.

“You are never going to get the perfect game and there will always moments of uncertainty, whether it's a cross or defending a counter attack. It’s all about staying composed and staying in control.

“We've really progressed at that too and the lads have really got better at living in those moments - the grey areas as we call them. Huge credit to the guys for owning those moments, stepping up and making decisions.”

Manning added: “The message now is turn up Saturday and be ready to go again.”

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

On both wing-backs scoring…
“We’ve said it numerous times this year, that we are going to need goals from all over the team and I’m really pleased for the two lads.

“We joked with T about changing sides and how, coming inside, (a goal) might be on for him - fair play to him, he did and it was a really good finish.

“Kaine was really pro-active and that was not an easy finish. He showed good composure and control on the finish. I'm delighted for him. He did well, especially in certain aspects such as out-of-possession stuff and his positional play.”

On impact of away fans…
“I have to say, on the road, our away fans have been terrific. The noise they create, how they get behind the team is massive. When you have to make those hard yards at the end that sometimes that noise actually makes that run a little bit easier for you.”

On Connor Wickham making his first start…
“We’d been thinking around it. We didn't get back until extremely late on Saturday and then we had to get ready to travel away again - all that takes a lot of your legs as well. We kind of had it in the back of our heads to give opportunities to people like Connor and he stepped up and did well.

“He linked play really well at times and showed moments of quality – like, in the first half, when he drives inside which shows what he is about. It was really good for him to get some minutes and now he needs to keep building on it.

“I've said numerous times that we are going to need the squad because it's such a such a demanding programme.”

***

Liam Manning and MK Dons will look to make it eight matches without defeat when they take on Bolton Wanderers this Saturday at Stadium MK. Kick-off is at 3pm.

Tickets are priced from £22 adults, £17 over-65s and £7 under-18s while under-12s go FREE. Upgrades are available to East Centre and West Centre.

To book tickets CLICK HERE, visit the Box Office at Stadium MK or call 01908 622922. Tickets will be available to buy right up up until kick-off from the Box Office.


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