Clash of managerial styles when Gillingham and MK Dons meet on Saturday

“He’s very sure about what he wants, but there is a nasty streak there”

Friday, 17th September 2021, 1:17 pm

Liam Manning and Steve Evans may be contrasting figures on the touchline, but the Dons head coach said there is no right or wrong way to manage from the dugouts

The dugouts at the Priestfield Stadium on Saturday will look like contrasting places when MK Dons’ head coach Liam Manning goes head-to-head with Gillingham boss Steve Evans.

While Manning cuts a quiet figure in his technical area, Evans and his assistant Paul Raynor are notoriously quite the opposite.

But while their approaches may differ on the sidelines , Dons captain Dean Lewington says Manning still has a mean streak.

He said: “He's very sure about what he wants, but there is a nasty streak there - a few of the lads can attest to that when they were late for training the other day, he's not someone to cross. So he has that other side.

“He's not a ranter or a raver - he's very considered. He knows what he wants and how we can improve. One thing I really like about him is that nothing is for show.

“You see it from some managers - it's for everyone else in the stadium and not really for the players. Our management team are very much focussed on us and trying to affect the result rather than playing up for everyone else.

“Steve has a different way of going about it, and there are no problems with what Steve Evans does - it's his approach and his career, and he's been very successful. It's just a different way.”

“I have huge respect for Steve and his career,” said Manning when asked about his calmness in the technical area. “There is no right or wrong way.

“Football is an emotional game. The more emotional you become, the less you're able to focus on what the players or the game needs.

“It's difficult not to get emotionally involved, I'm desperate for us all to do well, but it's important to stay focussed and controlled when the players need help or information, we can do that rather than give them an emotional response.”