Similarities between Dons and Wycombe should make for enthralling derby clash

“Gareth has done a terrific job and got the right people in and having a strong culture”

By The Newsroom
Friday, 28th January 2022, 3:31 pm
<p>Hiram Boateng and Joe Jacobson fly into a challenge when Dons and Wycombe met back in September</p>

Hiram Boateng and Joe Jacobson fly into a challenge when Dons and Wycombe met back in September

Liam Manning can see a lot of similarities between MK Dons and Wycombe Wanderers heading into their derby clash at Adams Park on Saturday.

Dons have had the upper hand over the Chair Boys in their two meetings this season, winning the league fixture and the Papa John’s Trophy game both at Stadium MK.

Manning praised the job Gareth Ainsworth, Wycombe boss now for almost a decade, has done at Adams Park, and said their strong sense of culture may be different to that of Dons, but at the heart of it remains a similar philosophy linking the sides.

“I'm really looking forward to the game,” he said. “There are a lot of similarities - where we are in the league, budget sizes. Gareth has done a terrific job and got the right people in and having a strong culture. And I think that's the same here. It's a game I cannot wait for.”

The fixture back in September saw Dons run out 1-0 winners thanks to Troy Parrott’s penalty, which in itself was contentious as it also saw Anthony Stewart sent off. Though the game was played on a tense knife-edge even with Wycombe down to 10 men, Manning predicts another hard-fought encounter at Adams Park.

He said: “At our place, the sending off changed it. It was going to be a really good game - their press and our build-up was a good contrast in styles. But even in the second half they got at it and tried to cause us problems even with 10 men.

“A lot has changed since that game, there are a lot of different personnel, experiences. I understand his frustrations with that decision, but we've all had a lot of those this season. We'll enter the game with the same attitude we went into Tuesday with - respecting Wycombe, fighting, working, competing and earning the right to play our game.”