Patience needed for some of the new Dons to bed in off the pitch

Cambridge United 1-0 MK Dons

By The Newsroom
Sunday, 31st July 2022, 6:00 am

Making the move to Milton Keynes in the summer will have an impact on some of the new recruits at MK Dons, and Liam Manning has urged for patience with some of them as they adapt to their new lives.

Dawson Devoy was a notable absentee from the opening day squad against Cambridge United on Saturday, but made the journey with his team-mates and conducted a warm-down in the aftermath of the 1-0 defeat to the U’s.

Like 19-year-old Darragh Burns, Devoy has uprooted his life in Ireland this summer, which he was hesitant to do in January when offered the move initially. An oft overlooked factor in transfers is the personal life of players adapting to their new surrounds - an issue which also plagued Jordan Moore-Taylor during his spell at Dons from 2018-20.

Those changes then, according to Manning, can also impact the players on the field, with he and the other coaches wary of off-field support they also have to give.

“It brings inconsistencies as well,” he said. “You have to be patient with some of the lads, and we’ve got a group of staff here who understand that and the individual development players have to go through, not just the group.

“We’ll support them and coach them and make sure they’e in the same frame of mind to go again.”

He continued: “We've worked hard over the summer to add depth to the group so it was nice to be able to make some changes and bring on some quality.

“There is high competition in the group, and the challenge now for the individuals is to turn potential into performance. They all have to fight it out to keep the shirt.”