Scott Twine and Daniel Harvie after the 2-0 defeat to Wycombe Wanderers on Thursday. Head coach Liam Manning said his side are not out of the tie yet but will need to dig deep at Stadium MK on Sunday
Liam Manning has urged his side to summon the same spirit they showed on Boxing Day to overturn the two-goal deficit they trail to Wycombe Wanderers in the play-off second leg on Sunday.
Against Lincoln in Dons’ final game of 2021, Manning’s side were 2-0 inside eight minutes at Sincil Bank, and it could have been much worse with the hosts missing a couple of sitters before the break too. Rallying in the second half though, Dons not only overturned the deficit but ended up winning the game 3-2 thanks to a Scott Twine winner in stoppage time.
At ‘half time’ in the two-legged play-off affair, Dons face a similar challenge on Sunday when Wycombe play the return leg at Stadium MK, leading thanks to goals from Ryan Tafazolli and Sam Vokes in the game at Adams Park last night.
Not out of the affair yet though, Manning has called on his side to bounce back on home soil, reminding them they have done it before this season.
“Thinking back to Boxing Day, we had 45 minutes to turn around a 2-0 deficit,” he said. “The fact we've got 95 is a fantastic opportunity for us at home. The lads have been terrific all season, but now is the time to stick together and pull in the same direction.
“The Real Madrid game (against Manchester City on Wednesday night) is a great example of only needing four minutes to turnaround the deficit.”
Going into the second leg trailing, Manning said the emphasis is no longer on his side, but in fact on Wycombe to not let a chance of reaching the final slip from their grasp - a factor which may help Dons at Stadium MK.
He added: “It flips the pressure onto Wycombe. They're coming to our place, on our pitch and they have a lead to hold on to. We've got nothing to lose going into the next game.
“We have to work hard and be braver to dominate the game with how we want to play it. We have to be comfortable and match them when they're on top, but to find a way to flip it and get it back on us.”