Stadium MK should be a place teams fear coming to, says Manning
MK Dons 1-0 Portsmouth
Liam Manning said he hopes Stadium MK can become a place opposition teams fear after Ethan Robson’s goal helped them to beat Portsmouth on Saturday
Liam Manning hopes to make Stadium MK into a place opposition teams fear coming to after his side beat Portsmouth 1-0 on Saturday.
Ethan Robson scored the only goal of the game with 19 minutes remaining, finishing off a terrific counterattack sparked by Troy Parrott and Scott Twine. But Dons could have been high and dry at the break, but for some brilliant saves from keeper Gavin Bazunu in the Pompey net.
Portsmouth established themselves early in the second half and looked the better side until Robson scored - a goal which lifts Dons into fifth spot in League One.
With just one defeat at Stadium MK this season - his first game in charge against Sunderland - Manning said he wants home soil to become a worrying place for opposition teams to visit in coming weeks.
“I hope so,” he said. “It's a fantastic facility, stadium and pitch. For us, it's nice and comfortable, but for them we have to make the pitch massive, make them chase, make them run, punish them with the football.
“We had the chances but Portsmouth will go away thinking it's a really difficult game.
“We're in good form at home, and we have to continue to make it a really difficult place for opposition.”
With yet another impressive showing from his side, particularly after scoring as they took the pace off the game in the closing stages, Manning said the way is side reacted to Portsmouth’s 20 minute spell at the start of the second half really impressed him.
He said: “We want control in all moments. It's so important. You will never dominate a whole game with the level of opposition we play against. It's about making sure, when you haven't got possession for 10 minutes, we're ok with it. We got better at managing that.
“We can talk about tactics all we want, but we've got hard working, committed players who are a joy to work with at the moment. We've got to keep those moments and behaviours in good times and bad times because that's what gets you through.”