Pre-season training gives Dons a chance for more tactical knowhow

MK Dons return to pre-season training today

By The Newsroom
Monday, 20th June 2022, 9:15 am
<p>Liam Manning is eager to instil some tactical knowhow into his players during pre-season. MK Dons report back for training on Monday.</p>

Liam Manning is eager to instil some tactical knowhow into his players during pre-season. MK Dons report back for training on Monday.

Liam Manning has hinted at changes for next season now he has a prolonged period on the training pitch with his players.

The Dons head coach arrived at Stadium MK two weeks into last season and had to integrate his tactics game-by-game.

However, with his squad returning for pre-season training today (Monday), Manning says the next six weeks allow the coaching staff an extended period of time to hammer home the ideals prior to the new campaign.

Operating, by and large, in the formation set up in Russell Martin’s mould last season, Manning also suggested while the style of football would not change for next season, he may tinker with things to get the best out of his players.

“The playing style won’t change,” he admitted. “We’ll continue to be a team who dominates possession with a purpose, with aggression out of possession.

“What you see on a matchday, the principles won’t change, but the squad evolves when you bring in players with different qualities and we adapt to get people into positions where their strengths will help.

“Something we weren’t able to do last year was to lay down some really clear tactical principles. We had to do a lot of that through video and games.

“We’ve got a long period of training now which we’ve planned already so it gives us a good opportunity to integrate that into the team.”

Speaking ahead of the first pre-season training session, Manning added: “First and foremost, you want to start the first league game with as many players available as possible. There is a danger of going too hard too soon in pre-season so it’s a case of laying down the physical foundations the players will need for the rest of the season.

“It’s so important - if players miss a chunk of pre-season, I feel they’re playing catch-up through the rest of the season. We want availability to be as high as possible for that first game.

“Integrating the new players quickly will also be an important aspect of what we do.”