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Fixture News

Manning: Understand the disappointment

Head Coach Liam Manning reflects on his side's 2-0 defeat to Bolton Wanderers at Stadium MK...

14 September 2022

Liam Manning understands the feeling of frustration after Tuesday’s defeat to Bolton Wanderers but has called on MK Dons to stick together as his side go about turning around their form.

Manning’s men were beaten 2-0 by the Trotters at Stadium MK in their second defeat on the bounce, and when reflecting on the game, the MK Dons Head Coach was honest in his assessment of the performance and what needs to be done to ensure improvement.

“(It wasn’t good enough) and the score reflects it,” he said in his post-match press conference. “We made too many mistakes and there were too many turnovers.

“There wasn't much in it in the first half, we played some good stuff at times but without having that final bit – we lacked a directness and quality in the final third. Then giving away a penalty hurts us.

“I think we came out and started the second half well, we pressed better and got on the front foot but the goal shifted the game massively.

“Cheltenham was a penalty and a free-kick; Exeter was a corner - we're conceding too much from set-pieces and we're disappointed with that, frustrated, because it's a tough to take.

“Momentum is massive in football but after (the second goal) we had to respond better. The fight we showed wasn't good enough.

“Confidence is understandably low because we've not been getting the results we want to. With some of them, there’s also a tension to their play.

“We're searching a bit at the moment for someone to step up and deliver. That's a big disappointment because we empower the players to have freedom in the final third and they didn't take advantage of that.”

Manning added: “We're hugely disappointed and I feel the (fans’) frustration, the hurt and disappointment.

“We are where we are and it's not where we want to be. We're in a fight and a scrap, but we have to stick together, own our individual performances and step up.

“We'll work as hard as we can to get out of it. We don’t have loads of training time but we will analyse everything - the commitment, desire, directness, the confidence, everything.

“We have to look, analyse and reflect. We have to learn from video, from honest conversations and we have to go and try to put it right on Saturday.”

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

On replacing Dean Lewington with Zak Jules…
“We knew they had a lot of pace up top, so we tried to counter that with Zak and, to be fair to him, he's done well in the games he's played and he has trained well. I’ve said it before but we'll need all the squad and all the depth.

“We're also managing Skip because he's so important. It's a challenge for him to play every game, as much as he wants to.”

On Josh McEachran’s return…
“Josh still needs a bit of time to get back up to speed but (we’ve missed) his experience and composure in moments like we saw tonight, when you're up against it and need someone to grab the game.”

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Liam Manning and MK Dons will look to bounce back on Saturday when they take on Oxford United at the Kassam Stadium.

Tickets, which can be bought online or from the Box Office, are priced at £26 adults, £18 over-65s/18-21s, £15 under-18s and £11 under-13s while under-7s are priced at £7. Please note, ticket prices will increase on the day of the game.

To book tickets/travel CLICK HERE, visit the Box Office at Stadium MK or call 01908 622933. Tickets will be available to buy online until 12pm on Friday, though they will remain on sale from the Box Office until 4pm.


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