Pressure is on Wycombe, not Dons, heading into the second-leg

“They’ve got the lead and we’ll do everything in our power to wrestle it back”

By The Newsroom
Sunday, 8th May 2022, 6:00 am

Tempers flared when the sides met on Thursday at Adams Park. Both Liam Manning and Dean Lewington believe more pressure will be on Wycombe when the sides meet at Stadium MK

Even though his side head into the clash trailing 2-0, Liam Manning believes there is more pressure on Wycombe Wanderers than MK Dons ahead of the second-leg.

Ryan Tafazolli and Sam Vokes netted the goals at Adams Park on Thursday to give Gareth Ainsworth’s side pole position at Stadium MK on Sunday night.

Manning though feels his side now have nothing to lose on home soil, with the pressure instead on the visitors to protect their lead.

He said: “We'll need an energy and a fearlessness going into tomorrow, we've got nothing to lose. The pressure will be on them, they've got the lead and we'll do everything in our power to wrestle it back.

“We always knew going there would be a tough game - they were in the Championship last season. We knew they'd be strong, with some experienced players who have played at a higher level, and have played in the play-offs as well.

“We've got to show what we did in the first 30, 35 minutes. The structure was good, we kept control of our emotions so we have to build on that. We had a couple of decent chances so we have to do more of that. We need to impose our style and not get drawn into theirs.”

What Dons must do better at Stadium MK

David Kasumu battles for the ball during the semi-final first leg last Thursday

There could be few arguments against Thursday’s first-leg being one of Dons’ most disappointing performances of the season.

Having the better of the chances in the opening half-an-hour at Adams Park, captain Dean Lewington said Dons got dragged into a game which did not suit them.

But he felt while they were second best in the first-leg, Lewington felt Dons have more gears to find at Stadium MK.

He said: “When we look back at the game, straight afterwards you feel the emotion but it felt differently when we watched it back yesterday and today. There were bits in there we know we can do better, and that's good for us knowing we can still find two or three more gears. We just need to find the right passes and put the right quality on it.

“It was a difficult game. The first 35 minutes went well, we played some really good football and kept them at bay but they got a bit of a foothold in the game and it started to turn just before half time. Their set-pieces can sometimes be really difficult to defend and it’s not anyone’s fault.

“We just lost our composure and our quality dropped in the second half, allowing them to do what they do well. They’re well set-up and hard to get through, but our lack of quality allowed them to do that.

“The first leg didn't go the way we wanted it to but it's now similar to the last day of the season again - we know what we need to do. We need to win, and that makes it simpler.”