Revenge won’t be on Dons’ minds heading into Wycombe clash

The play-off defeat to the Chairboys though is still fresh in the memory at Stadium MK
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There will be no extra incentive for MK Dons to get revenge over Wycombe Wanderers tomorrow after the heartbreaking play-off campaign last May.

Dons beat the Chairboys in four of their five meetings last season, but the one defeat - a 2-0 defeat at Adam’s Park in the first leg - proved costly as Gareth Ainsworth’s side held on despite a 1-0 defeat in the return leg to progress to the final.

With the rivalry between the clubs growing over the years, last season’s encounters were particularly fraught, and Ainsworth says it is great for both clubs to have that derby between them.

But with the emotional play-off loss still fresh in the memory of the supporters at Stadium MK, Manning said his players are not using it as fuel for tomorrow’s clash.

“Our approach won't change because of last year,” he said. “With the transition we went through, a lot of them won't remember what happened with Wycombe last year.

“We want players who are emotionally invested, but we also want to control that. If we're over-excited for the game, it might lead to a negative impact. We have to be in that sweet spot to be successful.

“We played them a lot last season. We're aware of the rivalry and the derby and it's a big game. With everything that happened with them last season, we expect it to be a hugely competitive game as well.”

Manning continued: “I've got huge admiration for Gareth, the career he's had and the career he'll go on to have. He's had a lot of success at Wycombe for a sustained period and that's not easy to have.

“I'm seeing it now, with transitioning teams, he has seen that a lot and has been able to bounce back again and again. He's someone I have huge respect for.”