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