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Fixture News

Manning: Happy for the group

Head Coach Liam Manning reflects on his side's victory over Charlton Athletic...

26 October 2022

Liam Manning was pleased for his staff and players following Tuesday’s confidence-boosting victory over Charlton Athletic.

Manning’s men secured their first win in six thanks to second-half goals from Will Grigg and Bradley Johnson at The Valley.

It’s a result which lifts the Dons off the foot of the Sky Bet League One table and provides them with an opportunity to climb out of the bottom four this Saturday when they travel to Cheltenham Town.

Reflecting on the win over the Addicks, Manning said: “I'm happy for the players and the staff. We've been on a tough run but the togetherness we've had, the application of the players has been great, so I'm really happy for them. We saw tonight they are all in.

“It has been a challenge managing confidence but the players and staff have continued to believe in themselves and what we're doing. The mood has always been okay – they’ve not come in moping or feeling sorry for themselves but they don’t want to be where we're at.

“We've been more like us in the last few games, irrespective of the results. It’s been a case of bringing everything together and we showed signs of that in the first 20 minutes tonight, defending well and using the ball well.

“We had good spells where we controlled the game with the game but we also soaked up a lot of pressure at the start of the second half too while still maintaining control.

“Charlton are a strong side with good balance and they did a good job of pinning us in at times but, coming away from home, you have to be comfortable sucking up the pressure and I think we did that. The whole team defended really well.

“On the grand scheme of the game, we had the better chances and I don't remember Jamie being tested. Griggy hit the bar, the keeper made a save off Bradley Johnson, Louie Barry rounded the keeper. We looked the more dangerous.”

Manning added: “We just have to keep believing and improving, now. It was a benchmark for us in certain areas tonight and the challenge now is to continue the momentum and get even better.

“We've done a terrific job of keeping things consistent and level, not getting emotional, and that's what will hopefully get us out of the sticky period we've had.”

Here is what else Liam Manning had to say...

On the penalty decision...
“I've not seen it back but we're owed one - we lost to Sheffield Wednesday with a penalty that was outside the box. Whether it is or isn't, I won't focus on that.”

On Bradley Johnson’s free-kick...
“Brad has terrific quality in his left foot, and it was a huge relief (to see it go in).”

On Mo Eisa’s return to action...
“It was massive and I have to give huge credit to Mo and the medical staff. It has been a long journey but he has stayed positive and upbeat, he has done the work asked of him. It's terrific to have him back because he's a huge part of the group. He's going to give us a big boost, not just because of his quality but his character. I don't want to load him up too quickly, because ultimately he has been out for six months. If he hits the ground running then great but, equally, if it takes time then that's also okay - it's just good to have him back.”

***

Liam Manning and MK Dons will look to make it back-to-back Sky Bet League One victories when they take on Cheltenham Town at the Completely Suzuki-Stadium on Saturday.

Tickets, which are available to buy online and from the Box Office, are priced at £26 adults, £18 over-65s/students and £10 under-18s. To book tickets CLICK HERE, visit the Box Office at Stadium MK or call 01908 622933. Tickets will be available to buy from the Box Office and online until 4pm on Friday.


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