Liam Manning is excited to return to work this coming week and begin preparations for the upcoming 2022/23 campaign.
Manning’s squad have already reported to Stadium MK for testing but will take to the pitch for their first full team training session on Monday as the countdown begins to July 30 and the opening day of the new Sky Bet League One season.
“I had a good break and it was nice to spend time with the family but I’m ready to go again now,” the MK Dons Head Coach said during his interview with iFollow MK Dons this week.
“I think I’m quite selfish throughout the season because I put a huge amount of energy into my work, into the team and into the Club, which means sometimes I sacrifice family time, so the few weeks off were nice to spend with my family.
“The summer has also been a good time to reflect and look back on some of the great moments, which are difficult to enjoy during the season. When you’re able to sit down and take the emotion out of it, there were some really enjoyable and special moments.
“It was my first year as a Head Coach within English football and it was a terrific learning experience, and one that I thoroughly enjoyed alongside a terrific group of staff, and a terrific group of players.
“There are many learning experiences that we all went through that we need to use for this upcoming season and going forward to ensure that we keep heading in the right direction.
"We had a good session, as staff, reflecting on the positives from last season and discussing what we want to continue delivering going forward - what do we want to change, what do want to improve, what do we want to add to the programme, so that as a group of staff we continue to evolve.
“We’ve got a young, hungry, ambitious group of staff, as well as the players, and it’s really important that we reflect on our ways of working and look at areas that we can take ourselves to a higher level and make sure we are better than it was last season.”
MK Dons will have six weeks to prepare for their opening Sky Bet League One fixture – a programme which will include many tough sessions on the training pitch, a five-day camp in Dublin and several pre-season friendlies.
Discussing his aims for pre-season, Manning said: “First and foremost, we want to start the first game with as many players as possible. We want to lay some real solid physical foundations but make sure that availability for the first game is as high as it can be.
“Integrating new players is another big aspect and we also didn’t get to lay down some real clear tactical principles at the start of last season so this is a good opportunity to get them across and integrate that into the team.
“The playing style and the principles won’t change and we will continue to work on being a team that dominates possession with a purpose, which we saw last season, but when you have different types of players, with different qualities and strengths, then you need to adapt certain things within the structure to get people in the right positions.”
Manning added: “You get an energy from being around the players and I’m looking forward to get going again.”