'Flip potential into performance': MK Dons boss on former Blues man

General view ahead of the Sky Bet League One match at Stadium MK, Milton Keynes.

In town today, MK Dons - Credit: PA

Ipswich Town are still searching for that first win of the season and it's MK Dons who stand in their way this afternoon of gaining those opening three points. MIKE BACON takes a look at the Dons.

Milton Keynes Dons' Zak Jules and Harry Darling (right) celebrate victory after the final whistle du

Milton Keynes Dons' Zak Jules and Harry Darling (right) celebrate victory after the final whistle during the Sky Bet League One match at Stadium MK, Milton Keynes against Charlton on Tuesday night. - Credit: PA

SO FAR, SO GOOD

One win, one draw and one defeat, it's been a pretty decent start for Liam Manning's MK Dons.

The Buckinghamshire side are slap bang in the middle of League One with four points, having had a fine win over Charlton Athletic in midweek.

The Dons drew their opening clash at Bolton, although they were just minutes from grabbing all three points until an Alex Baptiste 95th-minute equaliser denied them.

In between those two games they lost 1-2 at home to Sunderland, in Manning's first game in charge, while before any of their opening League fixtures, they lost 0-5 to Bournemouth in the EFL Cup.

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New MK Dons boss Liam Manning - Credit: MK Dons

FAMILIAR FACES

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MK Dons manager Liam Manning is well known to Ipswich folk.

Manning, who came through Town’s academy as a player before coaching youngsters at the club, succeeded Russell Martin at the League One club, having been appointed head coach. 

He also played non-league in Suffolk for, among others, Leiston.

He's joined at stadium:mk by another former Ipswich academy player and coach in the form of Chris Hogg, who left his role as Newcastle United's Under 23s boss to assist his former team-mate.

And on Thursday, former Town defender David Wright, who played for the Blues between January 2007 and June 2010, joined Manning's coaching team as assistant first-team coach.

Manning arrives following a successful spell with Belgian club SK Lommel, which saw him guide the club to a third-placed finish in the second tier, doubling both their number of wins and goals from the previous campaign. 

Milton Keynes Dons' Troy Parrott (left) and Charlton Athletic's Albie Morgan battle for the ball dur

Milton Keynes Dons' Troy Parrott (left) and Charlton Athletic's Albie Morgan battle for the ball on Tuesday night. Parrott has two in three games for MK. - Credit: PA

TROY ON THE MARK

Another familiar face in the MK Dons ranks is Troy Parrott.

The 19-year-old Spurs striker is on loan at stadium:mk and has already hit the mark twice this season.

Parrott was on loan at Town last season, scoring twice in 18 appearances and his switch to Buckinghamshire has seen him already equal that tally.

This is what Manning had to say about him: “Troy is a really exciting talent. It's just down to him to flip potential into performance. He's got some really interesting attributes and it's about delivering it consistently.”

Kane Vincent-Young and Wes Burns celebrate with Scott Fraser after he had scored to level the game 1

Scott Fraser, on target for Town on opening weekend against Morecambe - Credit: Steve Waller - www.stephenwaller.com

FRASER AND MK MEET AGAIN

Town signed Scott Fraser from MK Dons in the summer. Paul Cook admitted he was 'absolutely delighted' to get the Scot's signature.

Fraser scored 14 goals, 11 from the penalty spot, and provided six assists last season as Russell Martin’s Dons finished 13th in League One. He made 50 appearances for them overall and many Dons fans were sad to see him leave.

Prior to that, he contributed 16 goals and 19 assists during two impressive seasons in the third-tier with Burton Albion.

One local Dons journalist said this of Fraser: "Good on the ball, happy to take players on, Fraser gave Dons an edge they hadn't had for many years, arguably since the departure of Dele Alli in 2015."

Not that Fraser's tenure wasn't without a tad of controversy. An angry outburst on the pitch prompted Martin to substitute him 29 minutes into a win over Doncaster Rovers in March. He was left out of the starting XI for the next game against Crewe, although he was soon back in the side.

MK Dons keeper Andy Fisher gathers as Daniel Harvie comes close to having Toto Nsialas shirt off hi

MK Dons keeper Andy Fisher gathers as Daniel Harvie comes close to having Toto Nsiala's shirt off his back during the team's 0-0 draw back in April at an empty Portman Road - Credit: Steve Waller-www.stephenwaller.c

HEAD-TO-HEAD

Town and MK Dons have only met each other six times and Town have only lost once, that back in 2007 and then only after penalties after a 3-3 draw in a League Cup tie.

Last time the two sides met at Portman Road was behind closed doors, and it ended 0-0 back in April.

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Town are favourites with the bookies - Credit: PA

THE ODDS

Despite Town still not having won a game this season, the bookies make them favourites for this clash. But you will get similar odds for an MK Dons win and/or the draw.

Ipswich win: 21/20: MK Dons win 12/5: The Draw 12/5.

COLOSSUS: Codebreaking equipment used during World War II at the wartime intelligence centre at Blet

Codebreaking equipment used during World War II at the wartime intelligence centre at Bletchley Park, Milton Keynes. Colossus, the world's first computer (with a memory), was constructed by Post Office engineers, many of the parts coming from standard Post Office stores. - Credit: PA

DID YOU KNOW?

Bletchley Park is an English country house and estate in Bletchley, Milton Keynes, that became the principal centre of Allied code-breaking during the Second World War.  During that War, the estate housed the Government Code and Cypher School (GC&CS), which penetrated the secret communications of the Axis Powers – most importantly the German Enigma and Lorenz ciphers. 

According to the official historian of British Intelligence, the "Ultra" intelligence produced at Bletchley shortened the War by two to four years.

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