Dons’ players are ‘strongly advised’ but not forced to get Covid-19 vaccine

“We’ve strongly advised people here that they do get it for their health and for their loved ones, but I’d never force someone to do it.”

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 23rd December 2021, 2:46 pm
<p>The MK Dons players have been encouraged to get vaccinated against Covid-19, but head coach Liam Manning said it is not something he can force them to do</p>

The MK Dons players have been encouraged to get vaccinated against Covid-19, but head coach Liam Manning said it is not something he can force them to do

The MK Dons players have been urged to get their Covid-19 vaccinations, but Liam Manning said he would never force someone into getting it if they did not want to.

Last week, statistics shows a quarter of EFL players had no intention of taking the vaccine. Half of the fixtures in League One were postponed last Saturday as a result of outbreaks amongst squads, including Dons’ game against Burton Albion at the Pirelli Stadium.

Andrew Fisher, Scott Twine and Warren O’Hora were pictured this week receiving their booster vaccinations, but with so many players sidelined recently following Covid protocols, Manning said the club’s message is to urge everyone to get vaccinated, but he admitted it is not something he will force his players to do.

“You have to take the football element out of it,” he said. “We recommend people go out and get it from a health perspective but I wouldn't ever tell them they have to do it. You can't force that on somebody.

“We've strongly advised people here that they do get it for their health and for their loved ones, but I'd never force someone to do it.

“We have to prioritise people's health first and foremost. We of course want the games on but we have to look after people as well.”

After several cases in the Dons squad recently, not just prior to the game against Burton, Manning said the players have returned to training this week in good condition, but those who had tested positive for the virus will remain under close watch.

He continued: “It has been a challenge managing it, with people off, following protocols, changes to the plans. But the group just get on with it.

“We are keeping an eye on the players who have had it, we have to make sure we take care of them and monitor them closely, but the whole group has come back looking relatively good this week.

“We've had a really solid week. We'll have another meeting about how players are feeling after training, looking at the data. With a heavy and intense period coming up, we'll look at putting out a team who are ready to perform but also allows them to mentally and physically be in the best condition possible.”