Dons must remain level-headed to avoid upset against Cheltenham

Manning looks ahead to Cheltenham Town game at Stadium MK on Tuesday
Liam Manning said his side cannot afford to think about winning too much when they take on Cheltenham Town on Saturday. If his side do pick up three points, it will be their fifth consecutive victory.Liam Manning said his side cannot afford to think about winning too much when they take on Cheltenham Town on Saturday. If his side do pick up three points, it will be their fifth consecutive victory.
Liam Manning said his side cannot afford to think about winning too much when they take on Cheltenham Town on Saturday. If his side do pick up three points, it will be their fifth consecutive victory.

Although on the brink of a fifth successive victory, Dons head coach Liam Manning insists his side cannot afford to concentrate on solely winning the game against Cheltenham Town on Tuesday night.

Wins have been few and far between for Michael Duff’s side, but since the turn of the year, the Robins have lost just twice becoming something of a draw specialist with seven in 12.

Earlier this season when the sides met in September, Hiram Boateng’s late goal rescued a point for Dons at Whaddon Road and came as a bit of a bump in the road in an otherwise excellent start to life under Manning.

Fast-forward to now and though Dons have four wins in a row to sit third while Cheltenham sit 14th, Manning said his side cannot afford to be caught up in continuing their winning streak. Instead, he wants them to focus on the things that ensure they come out on top.

“The danger is looking at it and thinking we should win,” he said. “We can't afford to talk about winning or thinking about winning, but to concentrate on the actions that get you there.

“They're on a really good run. In their last 12 games, they might not have had many wins but they've had some big results against some difficult sides. We knew when we played them earlier this season they'd be tough, well-disciplined and well-structured.

“They're a strong group culturally and they have some real threats in there. It will be a really difficult game, we'll have to be at our maximum.”

While Saturday’s 10-man win over leaders Rotherham on Saturday was yet another marker of Dons’ capabilities, defender Harry Darling said the result would mean precious little should they fail to back it up tomorrow night.

He said: “There is no point winning away at Rotherham if we cannot back it up against Cheltenham. Tomorrow is a massive game for us and one we want to take three points from.

“We still need to keep going - we've done nothing yet. We've got a few good results but we've not achieved anything. We need to keep winning and finish the season strongly.”