Poor defensive display let Dons down against Fleetwood

MK Dons 3-3 Fleetwood Town

Tuesday, 28th September 2021, 11:00 pm

Harry Darling shouts in frustration during MK Dons’ 3-3 draw with Fleetwood Town. Liam Manning said he was disappointed with the manner in which Fleetwood were able to score their goals.

Liam Manning felt MK Dons gave up three cheap goals as they had to settle for a point against Fleetwood Town on Tuesday in a six-goal thriller at Stadium MK.

Ged Garner twice put Fleetwood in front in the first half in relatively simple fashion, while Scott Twine scored two spectacular efforts to draw Dons level each time.

Twine completed his hat-trick with 73 minutes played with a stand-out free-kick before Daniel Batty’s 88th minute leveller for Simon Grayson’s side, firing in after Dons failed to clear a corner.

Though their unbeaten run now stands at nine games, Manning said the poor defensive display and the late goal left his side feeling disappointed with just a point.

“The players hold themselves to high standards, but we gave away the goals too cheaply,” he said. “In previous games, although we've been solid in possession, the biggest thing that has got us results is how well we've defended.

“There were moments when we were too open tonight and the decision making wasn't quite right. We're all disappointed with the goals we conceded.

“The overriding feeling is frustration because of the performance rather than the outcome. Knowing what we're capable of and the level we have hit in previous games, we weren't at that tonight. The players in the dressing room know that, they know what they're capable of and in certain areas we fell short of that. And of course when you concede late on, it adds to that feeling.

“We have to give credit to Fleetwood, they really frustrated us. Their game plan worked and we played into their hands in the first half. The second half was better, we came out and had a bit more intent.”