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Fixture News

Manning: A good performance

Head Coach Liam Manning reflects on his side's Papa John's Trophy triumph at Stadium MK...

23 November 2022

Liam Manning was pleased with his side’s attacking threat in Tuesday’s Papa John’s Trophy victory over Newport County.

MK Dons made it through to the Last 16 of the Papa John’s Trophy courtesy of a 3-1 triumph at Stadium MK, with three separate players on the scoresheet in Darragh Burns, Matthew Dennis and Will Grigg.

Reflecting on his team’s display, particularly in the attacking third, Manning told the media: “It was a good performance and that was the important thing, because we knew if we played well the result would take care of itself.

“I was pleased with a lot of aspects tonight. We built well in passages, created good chances and we looked dangerous throughout - we could have scored more!

“We needed the first goal to calm us a bit and take the edge off things. It was a good finish from Darragh and he’s got that about him. He'll try things and be creative. He did well tonight, I felt he had a really positive impact.

“Daniel (Oyegoke) did really well in the lead-up to (the second goal). The pleasing thing for Matt was that he was central and in a good area which allowed him to anticipate the ball. It was a good finish. He also did well tonight and carried a good threat.

“It was a terrific finish from (Will Grigg) - terrific movement from him and a terrific pass to get him in from Ethan (Robson). It will do (Will) some good, because I know he was frustrated about missing a few chances recently - hopefully it'll be a big positive for him.

“I don't want the final five minutes to cloud the rest of the game. The lads earned the right to be in the positions they were in but the game management, shifting momentum, not going back too quickly, that ultimately could have kept them away from our goal.”

Manning added: “Winning games, with where we're at, is always important as it breeds confidence. We will never take winning lightly, whatever the competition - you have to enjoy it, no matter the opposition.”

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

On making eight changes...
“It was important to change the squad a lot tonight to provide opportunity. We needed people to step up and deliver and ultimately give us a headache for team selection for the FA Cup and the league. It's a good headache to have because a lot of the lads stepped up and took their opportunity.”

On a solid defensive performance...
“They were well set up, organised and direct in terms of their style, so it was pleasing to see how Woz (Warren O’Hora) and Tucks (Jack Tucker) stood up to that. There was a little period in the first-half where we lost control a bit but the lads did really well to shift that back in our favour.”

On Louie Barry and Matthew Dennis limping off with injuries...
“Nothing major. We'll assess them and see where they're at (on Wednesday).”


Liam Manning and MK Dons now turn their attention to Saturday's Emirates FA Cup tie with Portsmouth at Fratton Park.

Tickets, which are now available to buy online and from the Box Office, are priced at £12 adults, £10 65+/young adults and £4 under-18s, though accompanied under-18s can purchase tickets at a reduced price of £1*.

To book tickets/travel CLICK HERE, visit the Box Office at Stadium MK or call 01908 622933. Tickets/travel will be available to book from MK Dons up until 4pm on Friday. Please note, this fixture has been designated ALL-TICKET for away supporters, meaning there will be no away sales at Fratton Park on the day of the game.

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