Wednesday supporters could play a key role in MK Dons’ plan at Hillsborough
Dean Lewington and Liam Manning spoke about changing the atmosphere when they get to Hillsborough tomorrow night
Keeping the Sheffield Wednesday fans quiet on Tuesday night could give MK Dons the upper hand when they head to Hillsborough tomorrow night
The Owls are watched by, on average, more than 22,000 fans at home - the second highest attendance in the division, behind Sunderland. Dons though head to the Steel City two places higher than Wednesday in the table, with three wins in their last three league matches.
Lewington, who has played in each of Dons’ five games at Hillsborough, said if the visitors can establish themselves on the game early, turning the fans will be of huge benefit and give them a better footing in the game.
He said: “With the crowd and atmosphere, it will be doubly difficult but if we can nullify the fans, play our stuff and get them on the back-foot, it can reverse and switch around and flip it. We’ll be going there to try and do that, to play our game and I think we’ve got more than enough to cause real problems and hopefully get a positive result.
“They’re just finding their feet now after relegation and hitting a bit of form. We know it will be a tough game. They’ve got a lot of quality especially at the top end of the pitch so we know it will be difficult.”
Head coach Liam Manning added: “It can go one of two ways in terms of momentum. We’ve spoken about how we can use that to our advantage, or nullify it and get on top. It all comes down to how you play.
“If you ask the players, I’m sure they’re not too aware of it when the game is going on. When you’re away from home, it’s an extra challenge to show what we’re about.”
‘Not going for a nice evening out’
Manning said Dons will need to draw from their experience from their 2-1 win over Wigan Athletic last month when heading to Sheffield tomorrow. That night, Dons came from behind to pick up the victory over the Latics, who were sat third in the table at the time.
Wednesday are seventh, two places behind Dons, and Manning said the similarities between Wigan and the Owls should mean they know what to expect tomorrow night.
“It’s a huge club with huge history,” said Dons’ head coach. “We should all be excited by it but at the same time, we’re going there to do a job. Speaking of similar experiences, we can relate it back to the Wigan one a little but in terms of taking on a big club with big, recent history. And we went there and performed.
“The lads need to draw from that experience and channel their energy.
“We’re not going there and to have a nice evening out, we’re looking to hit our levels and delivering what we’re capable of.”