19 March 2022

We’ve not really practised – Liam Manning reveals Dons trick shot was improvised

19 March 2022

Liam Manning praised the application of his MK Dons side while revealing the unorthodox nature of their winning goal at Cambridge.

With the home side unable to clear a rare long throw, Warren O’Hora’s goal proved decisive as the Dons maintained their record of staying unbeaten in Sky Bet League One for almost two months.

They remain three points behind Wigan in the quest for automatic promotion to the Championship after triumphing 1-0 at the Abbey Stadium.

“The most important thing is to reflect on the culture that we’ve got,” said Dons boss Manning. “If you’re hard to beat, honest and hard-working… if you’re together and have got a really tight spirit, you win games. It was that today.

“It’s not going to look great every single week, it’s not going to be terrific, but what you are is in the game because you’re a team. That was the biggest thing today.

“It’s the first time we’ve done a long throw this season. The pitch is quite tight, we obviously do our homework, it was an opportunity for us to try it and it came off.

“The lads were terrific. We’ve not really practised it, it was just an animation that Hoggy (assistant manager Chris Hogg) put together and spoke to them about, and it was a terrific finish from us.

“It’s a difficult place to come, they’re well set up, well coached, they’ve clearly got a strong culture here. They had moments, I call it grey areas. You have to be comfortable in the grey areas and get through them. It was such an honest performance.”

Despite ending up on the losing side, Mark Bonner spoke highly of Cambridge’s response to a heavy 6-0 defeat at Sheffield Wednesday last weekend.

“The response I wanted was the performance, and we got it 100 per cent,” said United boss Bonner.

“We shouldn’t be on the losing side. We played very, very well. We concede a goal that we shouldn’t concede, have good chances in the game, and it’s frustrating to lose. A bit more clinical in certain situations and it could be a different story for us, so we’re disappointed not to take anything from it.

“We played at a really good level today. It just shows the difference between the top, top teams. We know on our day we can compete with them. We know when it’s not our day and we’re not at it we can get ripped to shreds.

“If you’re not clinical and don’t take the moments that you get then the game can be taken away from you in a moment, and it was.

“Anyone can see we should score a goal today. We should win the game to be honest, and we definitely shouldn’t lose it.”

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