08 March 2022

Liam Manning pleased to see Troy Parrott’s hard work paying off

08 March 2022

Liam Manning feels Troy Parrott finally got the rewards his efforts deserved after the young forward ended his long goal drought with a brace in MK Dons’ 3-1 victory over Cheltenham.

Parrott, who is on loan from Tottenham, had not scored in Sky Bet League One since September – a run stretching 24 games – before setting his side on their way to a fifth straight win.

The 20-year-old’s timely return to the scoresheet helped the promotion-chasing Dons move to within goal difference of second-placed Wigan ahead of the two sides meeting on Saturday.

Manning said: “Troy’s worked so hard recently and it’s great to see him get the goals tonight.

“The consistent message from me and the staff has been ‘keep doing what you’re doing’.

“Of course he wants to score goals, he wants to contribute to the team from that aspect, but it’s so much more than that.

“If you look at our front players, they set the tone defensively for us and he’s been outstanding at that.

“The quality he’s got, the goals will come.”

On how his team performed, Manning said: “We knew it was going to be a tough game.

“When they set up like they did first half, it’s challenging to maintain the intensity and the speed we need to move the ball out.

“I thought we showed some real high-level moments of quality with the goals and we showed some moments of sloppiness, but at this stage, you take the three points and move on.”

MK Dons took control with two goals in three first-half minutes, as Parrott headed Matt Smith’s cross into the top corner before Mo Eisa found the net with a composed finish when through one-on-one.

Parrott added his second and the Dons’ third with five minutes left, before Will Boyle headed in a late consolation for Cheltenham from Liam Sercombe’s cross.

Cheltenham boss Michael Duff said: “We were probably a bit too passive in the first half.

“We obviously changed it for the second half and we had a go.

“I think that’s 26 points out of 30 they’ve just taken, so they’re a good team, but Owen (Evans) has not had to make a load of saves and we’ve had as many shots as them.

“I’m not saying we deserved to win the game by any means, but sometimes you’ve got to lick your wounds and move on.

“I think even the fact we scored at 3-0 down, and the fact they’re still going right to the end, shows you everything about the group.

“There’s no giving in, there’s no-one throwing their arms up in the air, saying ‘who’s fault is that?’

“They stuck together right to the end and that’s what has got us to where we are.”

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