McEachran will still have a role to play in Dons’ play-off second-leg

“There was no apology needed even though he offered it”

By The Newsroom
Saturday, 7th May 2022, 1:49 pm

Liam Manning with Josh McEachran before the first-leg of the play-offs on Thursday night. Though McEachran is suspended for the second-leg, Manning said the 29-year-old will play a part in Dons’ preparations

Although he will not be able to play, Josh McEachran will still have a part to play in MK Dons’ dressing room on Sunday night.

The former Chelsea midfielder was sent off in the first-leg of the play-off semi-final against Wycombe Wanderers on Thursday as Dons lost 2-0 at Adams Park, ruling him out of the reverse tie at Stadium MK.

Having amassed nearly 300 games in his career, head coach Liam Manning said McEachran’s experience will play still play a big role in Dons’ preparations for their must-win game with the Chairboys and he will still be a big part of their preparations despite being suspended.

“He's extremely disappointed,” said Manning. “Watching it back, the first yellow is extremely harsh for me. He is trying to look after one of our team, which is important. He's disappointed to get booked for the first one.

“He's gutted, he apologised, which is good for the group but he will still play a key role. He's got experience, he's playing in some big games, and he can still pass that on. He'll very much be a part of it tomorrow.

“We've shown over and over that we stick together as a group.”

McEachran, who has racked up 43 appearances for the club this season, apologised to the team when they returned to the dressing room after his red card left them to play a man light for the final 21 minutes, but skipper Dean Lewington said no apology was necessary.

The captain said: “He apologised, which he doesn't have to do. It was a genuine error - he's tried to get the ball but he was half a second too late. You want your midfielders to be aggressive and go in for tackles and he just got it wrong. There was no apology needed even though he offered it.

“We're a team - we win and lose together. There's no scapegoating or pointing fingers. It was just one of those things that happens.”