Signings must be for the long-term benefit of MK Dons, says Manning

“We’re working for the best interests of club in the long term, not just bringing in players I want, picking them for me”

Friday, 21st January 2022, 3:00 pm

Liam Manning said he is not trying to mould MK Dons into a squad in his vision but one for the long-term view of the club

Liam Manning is not looking to put his unique stamp on MK Dons during this transfer window.

Dons’ head coach is working through his first full window at the club, having joined the club in the latter stages of the summer window in August. Then, he could only bring in one player - Peter Kioso on deadline day - before the window closed, effectively leaving him with the team Russell Martin built for the first half of the campaign.

To say this window has been a busy one for Manning is an understatement. Max Watters, Charlie Brown, Laurie Walker, Andrew Fisher, Zak Jules, Ethan Robson, Josh Martin, Peter Kioso and Matt O’Riley have all left the club, while Jamie Cumming, Theo Corbeanu and Conor Coventry have arrived on loan thus far.

Working alongside Sporting Director Liam Sweeting, Manning has had a say in the trio coming in, but said his role was not to make fundamental changes in the way the club operates in terms of the recruitment process. Instead, he is charged with helping Sweeting identify the players who they feel will suit the style of play.

“Going through the interview process and me getting the job, we have to be aligned,” said Manning. “It makes no sense to go in different directions. We’re clear in who our targets are, and now it’s about getting some deals over the line.

“With the structure we have here, we're working for the best interests of club in the long term, not just bringing in players I want, picking them for me. Theo is a good example of a slightly new example of player we’ve brought in, which is a slight transition from the summer to now.

“There is an alignment between myself and Liam Sweeting in terms of the players we want, how we see the team playing. We're in constant dialogue, in and out of each other's offices to discuss players.

“We don't argue but we challenge each other to make sure we get the right people. It's very much a collaboration to make sure we get the right people in, and it's the process every club should go through.”