Liam Manning praised his side’s commitment, attitude and work-rate after their 2-1 victory over Oxford United at the Kassam Stadium.
MK Dons bounced back from successive defeats on Saturday to beat the U’s and return to winning ways in Sky Bet League One. Goals in each half from Matt Smith and Will Grigg secured the points for Manning’s side after a battling display in Oxfordshire.
“After the tough few games we've had, I never questioned the players' attitudes, work-rate or commitment but today was a real benchmark for all of those things,” the MK Dons Head Coach said in his post-match press conference.
“(Oxford United) are a strong side and this is a tough place to come because they have some good players. You'll always come here and have to soak up moments of pressure and we showed some good compactness in the middle of the park and frustrated them a bit.
“We had passages of quality too but today, ultimately, was about getting three points so I'm really pleased for the players - it was a real collective effort and they deserved it.”
Manning added: “This has to be the foundation, now - by no means have we cracked it. We've got two weeks now to prepare for Peterborough (United).
“Being able to train for the next two weeks will help and the whole focus has to be on improving. We've got to take the tough experiences we've had so far and use it.”
MK Dons were backed by 715 supporters at the Kassam Stadium and Manning was pleased to be able to send them home happy after a difficult couple of weeks.
“The supporters were terrific today,” he said. “They helped get us through, and that's really important.
“They were rightly disappointed on Tuesday but we gave them something to celebrate today.”
Here is what else Liam Manning had to say in his post-match press conference…
On Josh McEachran’s return to the starting XI…
“Josh is massive for us in terms of his composure, character, quality, experience and understanding of the game, so having him back is huge for the group. It was a solid return - I thought he was excellent.”
On conceding from a free-kick late on…
“I didn’t really need it! From the sidelines it was hard to watch. It was another set-piece - we have got to get better at defending those. Ultimately, though, if you're disciplined with your defending, and are calm and composed, you don't give free-kicks away and you then have to defend them less. We'll have to get some work in on how to defend them better but, the focus will also be on making sure we don't give away cheap fouls away.”
Liam Manning and MK Dons return to Sky Bet League One action on Saturday 1 October, when they take on Peterborough United at Stadium MK.
Tickets, which are available to buy online and from the Box Office, are priced from £24 adults, £18 over-65s, £12 under-25s and £6 under-18s while under-12s and under-7s tickets are priced from £3. Upgrades are available to East Centre and Club Red. Please note, ticket prices will increase by £2 on the day of the game.
To book tickets CLICK HERE, visit the Box Office at Stadium MK or call 01908 622922. Tickets will be available to buy right up until kick-off from the Box Office.