Relief for Manning as Dons put right some wrongs in Oxford win

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Oxford United 1-2 MK Dons

Relief was Liam Manning’s biggest emotion in the immediate aftermath of MK Dons’ 2-1 win over Oxford United.

Goals from Matt Smith and Will Grigg had put Dons into a 2-0 lead heading into the final few minutes before John Mousinho, who had also diverted Smith’s first-half shot past his own keeper to put the visitors in front, pulled one back for Karl Robinson’s men.

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Dons, heading into the Kassam Stadium off the back of three consecutive defeats and without a league win against the U’s on opposition soil, claimed the vital three points though, lifting them above their opponents in the League One table ahead of their two week break for international duty.

“It was definitely relief after the last five minutes,” said Manning at the end. “It's a terrific response from Tuesday. After the tough few games we've had, I never questioned the players' attitudes, work-rate or commitment. But we needed confidence too.

“Today was a benchmark for all of those things. This has to be the foundation.

“We had passages of quality too, but today ultimately was about getting three points. I'm really pleased for the players - they've deserved it. It was a really collective effort.

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“They're a strong side, it's a tough place to come and they have some good players. You'll always come here and have to soak up moments of pressure. We showed some good compactness in the middle of the park and frustrated them a bit.”

Dons were booed from the field on Tuesday night after the drab 2-0 defeat to Bolton Wanderers, but the 715 travelling supporters were heard throughout the game in Oxfordshire, and were delighted come the final whistle.

Manning added: “The supporters were terrific today - they helped get us through, and that's really important. They were rightly disappointed on Tuesday but we gave them something to celebrate today. We've had so much change and it will take time, by no means have we cracked it.

“We've got two weeks now to prepare for Peterborough.”

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