Manning wants to replace ‘process’ with ‘purpose’ at MK Dons

Dons’ head coach explains what a Liam Manning team will look like at Stadium MK

Monday, 16th August 2021, 3:58 pm

Liam Manning

‘Process’ was the buzzword of the season last year for Dons, but under new man Liam Manning, it may evolve into ‘purpose’.

Dons’ new head coach has had just one training session, albeit with only a few of the squad, thus far, but he already has plans on how to improve the club.

The club became synonymous with a certain style of play last season under Russell Martin: dominating possession, a high number of passes and some, at times, risky stuff around the defence to develop space in front. At times though, it was too slow, laboured and felt like it lacked direction.

Taking over on Friday, Manning has barely had time to arrange his desk, let alone get a clear message to the players in what brief interactions he has been able to have with them so far. However, he believes with what he has at his disposal, he can give the team an extra purpose.

“When you look at the style last year, there are so many things that align with how I see the game,” he explained. “I'm not coming in to overhaul, which is a completely different challenge, but I'll put my spin on things. I want us to dominate the ball, control possession but I want a purpose with it.

“It won't always be about attacking or scoring goals, which is huge, but it might be managing the game - 1-0 up and resting on the ball a bit; if we've not had the ball for five minutes, get the ball back, get some momentum again and keep the ball.

“Yes, we want to dominate possession but we have to tell the players why. That will be big for us.

“Out of possession, we have to show intensity. Hopefully, we'll score some goals too! Fans pay their money, and we should try and entertain them and work hard to do that.

“I've already seen so many traits, in the second half (against Sunderland) especially. I was excited as the fans were by some of the stuff we saw which led to chances on Saturday.”