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Fixture News

Manning: Facing a tough test

Head Coach Liam Manning previews Saturday's Sky Bet League One clash with Exeter City...

3 September 2022

Liam Manning knows what to expect from his side’s visit to Exeter City this weekend.

Manning’s MK Dons take on the Grecians at St James Park on Saturday looking to make it three wins from four in Sky Bet League One and secure back-to-back away victories.

Their opponents, though, have made a strong start to life back in third their and Manning, who completed his Pro Licence with Exeter City boss Matt Taylor, knows they will provide a tough test for his team at the weekend.

“I know exactly what we're walking into,” the MK Dons Head Coach said in his pre-match press conference. “It'll be a tough game and we'll need to be at our maximum to get something out of it.

“I know Matt Taylor well as I did my pro-licence with him. I speak to him regularly and he’s really good guy, who has done an outstanding job there.

“Taking over from someone who had been there for a long time, it's never easy to follow but they got promoted and he has done an outstanding job.”

Manning added: “It'll be about 25 hours on the coach in the past nine days but, ultimately, everyone has to do it. Where we are geographically is not a bad thing either so I'm not going to moan about the trips when you see what Exeter have to do, for example.

“But, we've had to manage what we're doing this week so that we can be ready for another long trip and to be able to perform as best we can.”

The Dons appear to have no fresh injury concerns heading into Saturday’s game but will remain without the services of Mo Eisa, Tennai Watson and Josh McEachran.

While Eisa and Watson remain long-term concerns, Manning is hopeful of having McEachran back available for selection soon.

“Josh is a lot closer which is good news for us,” Manning said when asked about the MK Dons number six.

“He has started taking part in bits of training again. We won't see him this week but he's getting closer and, the good thing is with September, we can get some training into him as well.”

On Eisa and Watson, Manning said: “Mo's running on the grass again and it's nice to see him back out there. I commend him hugely because he's remained so upbeat and he's still a big personality in meetings and in the changing room.

“But, for his type of injury, it takes time. He's not joining in any sessions or any football work yet and he's doing one-to-ones with the physio. He's still quite a way away.

“Tennai is progressing but he had surgery and it will take time to heal. His (leg) brace is off and he's increasing the work he can do, but he's not someone we'll see for a while.”

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