MK Dons head coach Liam Manning admitted his side put in their best defensive effort of the season to underpin a 2-1 victory at fellow Sky Bet League One promotion rivals Wigan.
The home side had led through Charlie Wyke’s 20th-minute strike, but after that they found a brick wall in front of Wigan-born Andrew Fisher’s goal.
And after Peter Kioso levelled on the half-hour mark with a firm header, the Dons forced a winner eight minutes before half-time with a cross that went in off first Jack Whatmough and then his Wigan team-mate Tendayi Darikwa.
“I’m delighted for the players and the staff,” said Manning, whose side had lost their previous two matches.
“You saw the honesty, the hard work and desire to compete. I’m delighted with the result and the way we responded, but I also didn’t have any hesitations about it.
“We’ve got a strong group of characters with no egos and we saw that on the pitch.
“When you come to a place like this, with a squad they’ve got, you know you’ll have to ride it out a bit.
“But we were comfortable out of possession and soaking up the pressure. That was really pleasing.
“It was nice to see we were compact in the second half, winning first and second balls, not letting anything past us.
“It was arguably our best defensive performance, especially under pressure.
“Wigan are so effective in playing off Wyke, so credit to everybody for defending from the front.
“It feels great, and rightly the players should enjoy the win.
“But we’re straight back into it on Saturday with another tough game, but that’s League One.”
For Wigan boss Leam Richardson, it was back down to earth after Saturday’s 4-0 victory at local rivals Bolton.
But he denied there was any kind of hangover attached to the performance or result.
“The physical data, which we got straight after the game, will tell you ‘no’,” he said.
“The possession in the second half was almost 70 per cent, we had over 20 crosses into the box, doing everything we could to get the equaliser.
“The first question I always ask myself is whether my lads could have given me any more.
“The answer once again was ‘no’, so the answer to the question is ‘definitely not’.
“What I will say is congratulations to MK Dons, who were well worthy of being in the game in the first half.
“But does their first goal come from a decision from the official? I would suggest it does, when we were in possession.
“Should we have had a penalty for a foul on Charlie Wyke? Possibly.
“Was it a handball when Callum Lang puts Will Keane away? Possibly.
“But now and again you don’t get those big decisions.
“All we can do is take this result and try to learn from it.”
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