Manning was calm and composed during Dons’ penalty shoot-out win
Leyton Orient 0-0 MK Dons (MK Dons win 5-4 on penalties)
Aden Baldwin netted the winning penalty against Leyton Orient
Liam Manning said he had full faith in his side during their successful penalty shoot-out against Leyton Orient on Tuesday night.
A game that won’t live long in the memory, chances were few and far between at the Breyer Group Stadium. Both sides hit the bar but in somewhat fortunate circumstances, while the game burst into life in second-half stoppage time when Troy Parrott was sent off for a headbutt on Theo Archibald.
Dons then put away all of their penalties, after Ruel Sotiriou blasted Orient’s spot-kick wildly over the bar, with Aden Baldwin netting the decisive kick.
Manning admitted he felt calm and confident ahead of the shoot-out and was delighted to go through to the next round.
“I watched, I was relatively calm to be fair!” he said. “I had faith and confidence in the guys.
“They were good penalties too - they showed good composure to put us through. The players stay out and practice. We told them to take their time, wait for the whistle, don't rush it, pick your spot and don't change your mind. There were some really good penalties. It’s good to see that composure, who knows what happens in the next round.
“We're delighted to go through. It wasn't an easy game. We had a lot of players who have been out recently with illness and injury and aren't up to speed with certain aspects so I'm actually relatively. Especially in the first half, we had moments of real control, not necessarily in the final third but in the back and middle thirds and caused them problems. We just couldn't create or take the chances.
“In the second half, we showed a desire to fight and dig in and come away with a clean sheet.”
The blot on the copybook for Dons though was Parrott’s sending off, which Manning had no defence for.
He added: “It was a lack of discipline. Their lad has raised his hands but you have to say 'so what' not to retaliate the way he did. It was just a lack of discipline for me.”