MK Dons boss Liam Manning was happy to see striker Max Watters’ persistence pay off with a winner against Burton Albion.

The Cardiff loanee scored the game’s only goal as MK Dons beat the Brewers 1-0 at stadium mk.

Speaking about the game, Manning said it highlighted the striker’s qualities to see him carry on after missing chances similar to ones he’d scored the previous week to grab the winner.

He said, “I actually think we could’ve been 3-0 up again at half-time to be honest. We spoke about it at half time that we created four or five really good chances. Max had a few chances that last week he took but this week he didn’t, but it shows Max as a striker that he carries on, isn’t fazed or downbeat and takes the one in the second half.”

Manning said that the contest against the Brewers was a difficult encounter, and that the team demonstrated some fine qualities to keep Burton from troubling Andy Fisher, with the away side failing to register a shot on target.

He said, “It was a really difficult game with how they set up their press. We spoke about it in there that we prefer to improve our style and get better at controlling games and doing that while winning games rather than play terrific, dominate, look fantastic and lose. There’s bits to work on but they didn’t have a shot on target. We’ve shown again that we can be comfortable and in control out of possession and there’s a huge number of positives for us to take into Tuesday’s game.”

After a first half where Burton did cause MK Dons some problems with pressing in their own half, Manning praised his team for making the most of an approach to play around it.

He said, “We spoke about it a bit at half-time where they tried to jump man-for-man, which made it difficult to build and play through. We tried to change to create more of an overload centrally, which is really difficult to do when you’re that aggressive with the press. It’s not easy to do that but fair play to the lads as they showed some real bravery. They didn’t always get it right but that’s the game in terms of the reactions and transitions, and how we dealt with that was really good.”

The match came a few days after MK Dons suffered a defeat in the FA Cup to Stevenage at stadium mk, and Manning said he was happy to see the team move on quickly from frustrations after that reverse.

He said, “It was important. Some frustrations came from myself and collectively – fans, staff, players, everybody – from the manner of the game on Tuesday. But what you can’t do is hang around, feel sorry for yourselves and dwell on those experiences. You have to take what you can and move on quickly, and credit to the guys for doing that today.”

Victory keeps MK Dons in the top six ahead of a midweek clash with Sheffield Wednesday in midweek, and the Dons boss praised the efforts of his staff at keeping their momentum going.

He said, “I’ve been pleased with it. The danger with us as a staff is obsessing on the points we have dropped and where we maybe could’ve got more, but all the credit goes to the staff and players. I’ve got a great team of staff around me creating a strong culture all around developing and getting better. Tactically is one of that, but when you look at some of the work all the staff are involved in, that’s what you see at the weekend and I think we’re lucky at the football club to have it and we need to make sure we keep using it to churn out results.”