Former Blues coach is surprise front runner for MK Dons post

Former Ipswich Town player and coach Liam Manning is the new manager of Belgian side Lommel. Picture

Former Ipswich Town player and coach Liam Manning is the current manager of Belgian side Lommel and now a favourite for the MK Dons vacant post. Picture: LOMMELSK - Credit: Archant

Liam Manning has emerged as the surprise front runner to replace Russell Martin as the permanent MK Dons manager, according to BetVictor.

Manning, who is currently in charge of Lommel S.K in Belgium, had not even been featured on the odds markets, but the former Ipswich Town and West Ham United coach has shot up and is now the bookmakers favourite at 1/1.

Manning, who has been particularly praised due to his work with Declan Rice and other West Ham academy graduates, has never managed in England at senior level and therefore would no doubt be a shock appointment.

At Portman Road he worked his way up, starting with an Under 13 group which included Connor Wickham before working with the likes of Flynn Downes, Andre Dozzell and Luke Woolfenden as they moved through the system.

He has also worked as academy director of American Major League Soccer side, New York City.

Frank Lampard's former assistant Jody Morris had been the early favourite for the job, but Morris' odds have now drifted down to 14/1.

Meanwhile, Dean Lewington, who is the current caretaker manager of the Dons, is the second favourite for the vacancy at 8/1 whilst Shamrock Rovers boss Stephen Bradley is priced at 10/1 to switch Dublin for Buckinghamshire.

MK Dons Next Permanent Manager

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Liam Manning: 1/1
Dean Lewington:  8/1
Stephen Bradley: 10/1
James McPake: 12/1
John Terry: 12/1
Jody Morris: 14/1
Allan Steele: 14/1

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