Beating Plymouth is the only thing on Dons’ minds heading into the final day

“Everyone wants to play in games like this where we might get promoted.”
Warren O’Hora during MK Dons’ lap of appreciation last weekend. The Irish defender said even though the results in the week fell kindly for Dons, their task remains the same heading into the final game of the seasonWarren O’Hora during MK Dons’ lap of appreciation last weekend. The Irish defender said even though the results in the week fell kindly for Dons, their task remains the same heading into the final game of the season
Warren O’Hora during MK Dons’ lap of appreciation last weekend. The Irish defender said even though the results in the week fell kindly for Dons, their task remains the same heading into the final game of the season

The mission for MK Dons remains a simple one heading into the final game of the season: win and be in with a chance of automatic promotion.

Heading to Plymouth Argyle, Dons know a win will keep them in the hunt to overtake Rotherham should the Millers slip up against Gillingham on Saturday.

A late own goal from Michael Ihiekwe ensured Dons were still in with a shot on Tuesday night as Rotherham drew with Sunderland at the Stadium of Light, and though the result was favourable, Dons defender Warren O’Hora said the job on their hands remains the same.

He said: “The results went our way and we're pretty happy with that, but we have to focus on ourselves and those results don't really mean much if we can't do what we have to do on Saturday.

“We need to go and do our own job - nothing changes for us. We need to go and do what we can do. We know the opposition and how they play, how good they can be. We're not afraid of anyone, we've shown we can play against any of the teams in this league.

“It's a game of football, everyone wants to play in games like this where we might get promoted. If we don't, we know we have another chance with the play-offs, so it's still all to play for. We'll have pressure on us but we'll go out there and enjoy it.”

Excitement over nervousness for Manning

Liam Manning celebrates Dons’ win over Morecambe on Saturday. His side remain in with a chance of automatic promotion still heading into the final games next weekend.Liam Manning celebrates Dons’ win over Morecambe on Saturday. His side remain in with a chance of automatic promotion still heading into the final games next weekend.
Liam Manning celebrates Dons’ win over Morecambe on Saturday. His side remain in with a chance of automatic promotion still heading into the final games next weekend.

Emotions are already peaking amongst the Dons fans who will be making the long journey to Home Park for the season finale, but for coach Liam Manning, he is feeling an altogether different emotion.

He said: “I'm excited more than anything. I'm looking forward to it, irrespective of what happens. We're at the point in the season where you can look back and reflect on certain aspects. The players have done a terrific job this season. We know we have to win, so we're excited.

“We've spoken a lot about emotion management throughout the season, and keeping those emotions in the sweetspot where we can still perform. You have to be emotionally invested, you have to care, you have to be excited and be passionate but you cannot let it overtake your rational thinking. The lads are in a good spot, they've trained well and they know what they have to do.”

While the days of fans listening on hand-held radios to get other results are a thing of the past, the travelling support from MK1 will undoutedly be across the results in both Rotherham’s and Wigan’s final games. Manning though said knowing those while he is on the touchline will not make a lot of difference to how he approaches the game.

He added: “If the results were different the other night then I think we'd need to know but ultimately it doesn't change what we have to do.

“The other results are kind of irrelevant to us because we have to win. If Rotherham had lost the other night, it might have been different but whatever happens in the other game we have to win.

“There will be no distractions on that side, we'll just concentrate on winning the match.”