MK Dons boss Liam Manning 'emotional' as club's League One play-off dream dies

MK Dons couldn't find a pivotal second goal on the night.
MK Dons couldn't find a pivotal second goal on the night. Credit: PA

MK Dons head coach Liam Manning says his team's failure to reach the League One play-off final left him feeling "hugely disappointed, frustrated and emotional."

The Dons beat fellow Buckinghamshire side Wycombe Wanderers 1-0 at Stadium MK on Sunday evening, but a 2-0 win for the Chairboys in the first leg ensured they progressed to Wembley.

Troy Parrot's looping header had given the Dons hope, but despite having 29 shots and dominating the game, they couldn't find the elusive second goal they needed to force extra-time.

It meant that a hugely promising first season under Manning's leadership ultimately ended in disappointment, but speaking to ITV News Anglia after the final whistle, he admitted that he couldn't have asked any more of his team.

  • Watch an extended interview with Liam Manning

"I'm extremely proud of the players and how they performed," he said.

"Across the two legs, we probably had the greater spells in terms of possession, quality and chances created.

"So, it's a really tough one to take. Rightly so, we're all hugely disappointed, frustrated, and emotional after that because for me, we deserved more."

Everyone at Stadium MK will now have to pick themselves up for another season in League One, but some players are already being linked with moves away.

The division's player of the season Scott Twine is likely to be in demand from Championship, and potentially Premier League clubs, and Manning admits the Dons are braced for interest in their prized assets.

"For me, we'll obviously be doing our work to improve the squad and make it better but it's the industry we're in, there's always going to be speculation," said Manning.

"You have to make sure you're prepared for any changes that come up."