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Manning: Pleased with summer recruitment

Head Coach Liam Manning on last week's additions and pre-season friendly with King's Lynn Town...

18 July 2022


Manning: Pleased with summer recruitment

Head Coach Liam Manning on last week's additions and pre-season friendly with King's Lynn Town...

18 July 2022

Head Coach Liam Manning was pleased with the work done last week to strengthen his MK Dons side ahead of the 2022/23 campaign.

Four new faces arrived last week, albeit one was a returning Will Grigg who is back at the Club for a third spell but the first time as a permanent player, joining on a free transfer following his departure from Sunderland.

Louie Barry, Dawson Devoy and Bradley Johnson were the other three additions, taking the Dons’ total number of summer acquisitions to 11 with still over a month of the transfer window left.

“I'm really pleased with the business we've done,” Manning told the media following Saturday’s pre-season friendly with King’s Lynn Town.

“It has been a busy time for all of us but it is great to get in so many new lads. We've added variety with a huge upturn at the top end of the pitch, so it has been a really good week.

“Credit to Liam (Sweeting) and the other recruitment guys for what they've been able to do because it has been a tough and difficult window, but we have come out with a huge number of positives.

“We’re still one or two off where we need to be but we need the right ones, not just any ones. We'll continue to search to find the right profiles for what we need, and that takes time.”

One area in which the Dons will still be looking to strengthen, especially after Tennai Watson limped out of Saturday’s game with King’s Lynn Town which potentially adds him to the list of sidelined players along with Daniel Harvie, who still recovering from an injury suffered late last season.

“We'll need to (add at wing-back) and it's something we're working on,” Manning confirmed.

“We've still got Daniel Harvie to come back, who is a big player for the group too, so it’s about finding the right person to fit our group.”

Speaking on the injury to Watson, as well as the knock which forced Josh McEachran off against King’s Lynn, Manning said: “T felt something in his hamstring which is a disappointment because he’s looked really good. Hopefully it's not too bad.

“Josh just had a little spasm in his foot, so nothing too major.”

On the friendly with King’s Lynn, Manning also said: “It was a good challenge. We look at it from a pre-season and physical point of view so it was important for the lads to get minutes across yesterday and today.

“The pitch is long and dry, so to play against their low block on a hard, dry pitch in conditions like that, made it difficult.

“We have to be realistic too - we've made 11 additions to the side, so we have to understand relationships and how we play. There were some bits that were really good, and some bits that weren't.

“It is such a quick turnaround this season, with only five weeks of pre-season, so we're finding the balance. It might take a bit of time to get people up to speed when the season starts but there is enough of them to give everyone minutes.”

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

On Callum Tripp’s performance this pre-season…
“He doesn't turn 16 until August but Cal has spent most of pre-season with us and has shown moments regularly. He's a great example of the hard work the Academy does.

“He's got high potential and when you're that age, the biggest challenge is to turn that potential into performance, but he's a terrific character and I'm sure he will only get better.”


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