Liam Manning wasn’t hiding his frustration after MK Dons were held to a 1-1 draw by Accrington Stanley.
The Dons dominated much of Saturday’s contest at Wham Stadium but, after drawing level through Mo Eisa, were then kept at bay by a Stanley side who defended resiliently after being reduced to 10 men.
“It was frustrating for numerous reasons,” Head Coach Manning said in his post-match press conference. “They dug in and credit to them for that but with the quality we have in our team, I’d expect us to do more.
“We started slow. It’s hard when you get a team that presses you man for man and are so physical. You have to think and move quicker which can be difficult to do. The goal we conceded was disappointing.
“As the group has done so many times, they responded in the right way. After 15/20 minutes, we started to do that and get a bit more joy. We worked really hard against the press to create a really good goal which (Mo Eisa) took really well.
“After that, even at 11v11, we created a number of really good chances. The sending off then plays a key part in the game. It changes what we’re playing against – it goes from being a high press to a low block and that brings a different challenge for the guys to solve.
“We didn’t quite create enough clear-cut opportunities. The perception is, they’ve got a man less, you’ve got all the ball, it should be easy to do but it doesn’t always work like that. They’re a really honest group here at Accrington and they dug in and defended well.
“The challenge was on us to have the quality and discipline to create a good opportunity and, although we had a couple of decent half-chances, it wasn’t to be. We just have to pick ourselves up and go again Tuesday.”
Here is what else Liam Manning had to say in his post-match press conference...
Mo Eisa back amongst the goals…
“He took his goal really well. It was very similar to the first goal against Accrington at home where he pulls down the side of the defender, one-v-one and works his feet to finish well. He’s had a tough time, which he’ll openly admit, and what’s got him through that is being open to feedback and taking it on. I’m pleased for Mo.”
Disappointment for David Kasumu…
“He felt a twinge. He’s obviously disappointed because he’s worked hard to get back into the team. He did well at Charlton the other night and started the game reasonably well today. It’s disappointing but we’ll go away and see how serious it is.”
Squad needs looking after amongst busy schedule…
“We’re Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday quite often so we have to make sure the guys are physically and mentally in the right place. At this stage of the season, rest is equally as important as training. It’s about finding that right balance to make sure we look after the squad.”
Liam Manning and MK Dons return home on Tuesday when they take on AFC Wimbledon at Stadium MK.
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.