“We’ve got our identity back”: Manning on Dons’ changing fortunes

“If we go out there and take that performance, those chances and control other elements of the game, we’ll win matches”
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While they may have lost on Saturday, Liam Manning believes MK Dons are getting their identity back this season.

The 3-1 loss to Derby County ensured Dons remain in the bottom four of League One, ending with it their four-game unbeaten run, but from where they were this time last month, there is a vastly different outlook even if the league position is not wholly different.

Performances against Plymouth and Wycombe showed signs of improvement before beating Charlton and drawing with Cheltenham finally saw results from the general gelling of the team too.

Sticking with a formation and a line-up that has helped bring that to fruition, Manning said the change in Dons’ fortunes has given him plenty to be positive about.

He said: “I look back to where we were four or five weeks ago compared to now, and of course it hurts losing, but we've got positives to take.

“If you focus on the negatives, it can roll on. But we have to look at what's not good enough - defending set-pieces - and take the positives into the next game. If we go out there and take that performance, those chances and control other elements of the game, we'll win matches.

“We've got our identity back, which we lacked in some games. We've got to keep our emotions in check, build on it now and move in the right direction. We've got quality that can open teams up.

“We've got to a point where we've got that consistency. And we were chasing changes when people weren't performing, gelling or clicking, and so we've settled on this team.

“You can see the relationships developing at the top end of the pitch, and we have to keep making sure we're building on the aspects we're happy with.”