Dons cannot afford to take second-from-bottom Shrewsbury lightly

“If you’re two per cent off it, you won’t win. We will have to be at full tilt to perform and win”

Friday, 15th October 2021, 3:44 pm

Liam Manning wants his side to learn from the defeat to Doncaster last time out to avoid another disappointment this weekend against Shrewsbury Town

There is no room for complacency for MK Dons as they head to take on second-from-bottom Shrewsbury Town on Saturday.

Liam Manning’s side were stung last time out by basement club Doncaster Rovers, who inflicted only the second league defeat of the season to Dons at the Keepmoat Stadium two weeks ago.

While Steve Cotterill’s men have struggled to get up to speed in the third tier so far, picking up just eight points from their 12 games, Dons will be eager to avoid a second banana skin.

Their performance in Yorkshire two weeks ago left a lot to be desired, Manning admits, but he said there was never an air of expectancy within his squad as they went to take on Rovers. And given the disappointing result there, the players know what they must do to avoid a repeat against another struggling side.

“I don't think we went to Doncaster being complacent or thinking it was going to be easy,” he said. “I don’t think there are easy games in this league. If you’re two per cent off it, you won’t win. We all have to be focussed and ready to go and shift momentum back to us.

“They’ll be difficult. They’re well setup and organised. We watched them against Ipswich last week and there were moments when they got on the front foot and had good energy. If you look at their performances, arguably they could have more points. We will have to be at full tilt to perform and win.”

With supporters back in grounds again, Manning said some of his players are still getting used to the crowd factor swinging momentum in games this season - something which was evident in the 2-1 loss at the Keepmoat Stadium.

He continued: “The big learning point from that game was managing momentum.

“Last season was such a freakish year with no fans so when we talk about momentum in football, there wasn't much in the game apart from tempo or transitions. I think fans have really created momentum for teams and players.

“It's still a relatively new experience for some of the guys, to have a few thousand fans getting behind the team.”