Manning hopes to avoid the Manager of the Month curse this time

“That hoodoo is out of my control, we’ll just turn up tomorrow and do our best!”

<p>Liam Manning with his Manager of the Month trophy for January. He also won the prize for September</p>

Liam Manning with his Manager of the Month trophy for January. He also won the prize for September

Liam Manning hopes the curse of the Manager of the Month award skips him this time after he claimed the prize for January earlier this morning.

When he picked up the award for the first time in early October, Dons followed up with defeat to Shrewsbury Town, and though they bounced back in style by beating Wigan Athletic at the DW Stadium, then suffered back-to-back defeats to Rotherham and Aston Villa U21s in the Papa John’s Trophy at Stadium MK.

Tomorrow (Saturday), Dons host Ipswich Town who have picked up in form since Kieran McKenna took over at Portman Road, winning six out of eight heading to Milton Keynes.

And given the notorious ‘curse’ associated with the Manager of the Month award, Manning says he won’t be doing anything differently in preparing for the visit of Ipswich.

“I've no idea!” he said when asked how to avoid the curse. “I'm not changing anything we do. We gave the players a day off after the long journey home on Wednesday so they're best prepared for Saturday's game. That hoodoo is out of my control, we'll just turn up tomorrow and do our best!  

“It's a fantastic achievement but it's a collective. We've got a team-first mentality and I can only be as strong as the people around me. In January, we went through a huge transition and a huge amount of credit has to go to the players for continuing to chip away and pick up the results, and for the staff for keeping the players on track.”