Manning sacked as head coach by MK Dons

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The head coach departs after 16 months in charge at Stadium MK

Liam Manning - the man who helped guide MK Dons to third place just eight months ago - has been sacked with the club toiling in 23rd place in League One.

Assistant Head Coach Chris Hogg, First-Team Coach David Wright and Goalkeeper Coach Darren Smith have also left the club.

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After going through huge squad transition in the summer, which saw 14 players leave and 14 added by Sporting Director Liam Sweeting, Manning has been unable to guide the new side to repeat the performances of last season.

Saturday's 2-1 defeat to Fleetwood Town was deemed the final straw, with Daniel Batty's 90th minute strike the last nail in Manning's coffin, having picked up just five points from a possible 18.

Captain Dean Lewington will be placed in caretaker charge of the side for Tuesday night's Papa John's Trophy game against Bristol Rovers.

Manning spent 16 months at the club, taking over in August 2021 following the departure of Russell Martin to Swansea City. In 83 games in charge, Manning won 40, drew 15 and lost 28 - 15 of those this season.

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Speaking on Manning's departure, Sweeting said: “Liam, Chris and David have worked tirelessly over the last 16 months and we are hugely grateful for their dedication as well as what they were able to achieve on and off the pitch, particularly last season.

“As well as being thoroughly professional and dedicated, they have represented the club impeccably throughout their time with us. Our thanks as well to Darren, who stepped in to help us during a difficult period.

“Ultimately, given the position we find ourselves in, our decision now is to change the leadership and my full focus is on identifying and appointing the right person to, first and foremost, guide us out of this current situation, before then taking us forward. That process begins immediately.”

Chairman Pete Winkelman said: “It is with a real sadness that we have to make this decision. Liam and his team accomplished so much for us last season, providing some fantastic memories in a campaign we will never forget – for that we are all so grateful.”

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