Five talking points after MK Dons’ thrilling draw with Ipswich Town
MK Dons twice had to come from behind against Ipswich Town on Saturday but it was yet another enthralling outing from Liam Manning’s side as they came within inches of taking all three points at the very death.
Wes Burns tackles Dean Lewington in the enthralling 2-2 draw between Ipswich Town and MK Dons at Portman Road on Saturday. Dons twice fell behind to the Tractor Boys - they have trailed in every game they have played this season
After three games in his opening week as head coach, Manning has now picked up a win, a draw and a defeat, so here are a few of the talking points to come out of Suffolk on Saturday.
Dons can’t keep conceding first
It has happened in each of Manning’s three games in charge - Dons keep falling behind in games and have to find a way back. While at Bolton they initially led before going 2-1 down, conceding first after controlling the early stages is something Dons struggled with last season too. With as potent a frontline as Dons have, letting in the first goal is allowing opposition teams to get a foothold in the game, whether they have warranted it or not.
Scott Twine can, and will, shoot from anywhere
And I mean anywhere. Chancing his arm from 35-yards on a couple of occasions, and even inside the centre circle, nowhere on the Portman Road pitch was safe from Twine’s eye for goal. His goal came from a more conventional range though, and after opening his account with a set piece at Bolton on the opening day, Dons are starting look dangerous from free-kicks in ‘Twine range’ for the first time since Shaun Williams’ time at the club.
Did Ipswich buy the wrong Dons midfielder?
Quest TV’s George Elek suggested Ipswich may have bought the wrong man when they signed Scott Fraser from Dons in the summer after the brilliant performance from Matt O’Riley in the centre of the park. Playing deeper than last season, the 20-year-old was instrumental in keeping Dons in control for the majority of proceedings at Portman Road, and scored a fine solo equaliser to ensure Dons a share of the spoils in a game he described as the best of his career.
Not to rule Fraser out though, the Scot did have a good game for the Tractor Boys, proving tough to keep tabs on at times, picking out Macaulay Bonne at the far post for Ipswich’s second of the afternoon.
No room for fairy tales this season
Be it Boateng’s spoiled return or a win for Manning in his first game, there is no room for Hollywood script writers in Dons’ season so far, and it would be the case for Josh Martin on Saturday. Coming off the bench against Ipswich, the Norwich City loanee could have made himself a hero at his parent club by smashing in the winner for Dons with the final kick of the game at Portman Road but his strike crashed against the bar as the sides had to settle for a 2-2 draw.
Manning’s vision to become clearer in the coming weeks
With three games in his first eight days as MK Dons head coach, Liam Manning has had just one training session with his entire squad thus far. But following a hectic opening week, the team will be back on at Woughton this week to prepare for the visit of Accrington Stanley this Saturday. Manning has openly admitted the team has effectively been on autopilot during his first few games as he makes minor alterations in the short-term before getting to fully evaluate his team and put his vision into action.