Head Coach Liam Manning felt MK Dons’ strong start against Bolton Wanderers was a key factor behind their 2-0 victory over the in-form Trotters.
Manning’s dominated the opening 20 minutes of Saturday’s clash at Stadium MK and found a goal to show for it thanks to Mo Eisa – a goal which was then added to by Scott Twine with just over a quarter of an hour to play.
“We spoke about starting well,” the Head Coach said in his post-match press conference. “Especially being at home, it was important we got off to a good start and were on the front foot.
“That takes confidence and bravery and in the first 20 minutes we played some terrific stuff, caused some problems and we obviously got the goal.”
Manning continued: “I say it often but credit goes to the players. It’s been a tough week physically with the travelling, the level of opposition and the demands of the game, and I’m so proud of the group and the way they have applied themselves.
“We knew it would be a tough game because (Bolton) were on a really good run and had some really good threats but we stayed compact, owned the middle of the pitch and we didn’t give up too many chances on target, bar the one in the first half that Jamie (Cumming) made a good save off. We defend from the front and we attack from the back. =
“You can forget how young we are sometimes because the guys play beyond their years and the number of games that they have got under their belt. What we have got is a group that want to learn and want to get better and that are hungry to perform.
They obviously want to win games but they also want to perform and win in a certain way. They are also stepping up and delivering in big games and in big moments.”
Saturday’s win moved the Dons level with Wigan Athletic, who occupy the final automatic promotion place, while it also saw their gap inside the play-off positions extend to 10 points. Manning, though, insists his team won’t get carried away.
“It’s really important we continue to keep our head down and take things game by game,” he said. “As we get into the later stages, it will be something that we speak about but if we take our eye off the ball we will get punished.
“It’s about staying grounded, which the lads will do, and concentrating on what we can control. We can enjoy the moment but must be ready to go again next week. That’s the culture we’ve got and we have to keep that.”
Liam Manning and MK Dons will look to make it 10 games unbeaten away from home when they take on league leaders Rotheram United this weekend at the AESSEAL New York Stadium.
Tickets, which must be purchased in advance from MK Dons, are priced at £23 adults, £13 concessions, £8 juveniles and £6 juniors.
To book tickets CLICK HERE, visit the Box Office at Stadium MK or call 01908 622933. Tickets will be available to buy from the Club until 4pm on Friday.