Halfway through his first season at the helm of MK Dons, Liam Manning has steadily produced results that currently have the Dons in a play-off spot.
Manning arrived to Stadium MK after spending a season in Belgium serving as manager of Lommel in the Belgian First Division B. His desire to become a head coach/manager in England is what led him to accept the MK Dons job and depart from Belgium after just 11 months on the job.
He spent several years studying the game up close working as a youth coach with his former club Ipswich Town, in addition to working as an academy director for New York City FC. Both Lommel and NYCFC are members of the City Football Group which is most famously linked to Manchester City. As a youth player, Manning’s career was spent at childhood club Norwich City – as well as Ipswich Town, where he would eventually play a year as a professional (2004-05).
Head Coach Liam Manning spoke to the media ahead of the weekend…
On his team’s victory over Portsmouth their last time out:
“It was a terrific performance and result. I’m delighted for the guys. They worked hard for it, and they deserved it. They dug in, sat in, and defended the lead that we had. Although we might not have dominated the ball like we wanted to, we still looked a threat throughout.
“Coming out in the second half [up two goals], but with a terrific atmosphere and the quality [Portsmouth] have got in their side, we knew they would increase the intensity of their press, slightly more direct. We can look at it as them dominating the second half, but really, there is the element of the score line making that happen.”
On Doncaster Rovers:
"The last time we played Doncaster, it turned out to be a key moment for us as a group. They’d just had a heavy loss so we’d said that we needed to be ready for them to start quickly and we went 1-0 down after seven minutes so we didn’t manage that well.
"I watched them against Cambridge and they could have been ahead by two or three at half time – they created the better chances. They have new addition which will give them a lift, they changed their manager not so long ago, there are a couple of players in that squad with a point to prove – there are a few things that could make them dangerous.
"We need to earn the right to play."