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MK Dons boss Liam Manning has played down reports suggesting he could replace Mark Warburton and become Queens Park Rangers’ new manager, speaking to the MK Citizen. 

If you ignore their backgrounds – one a former city trader and the other a battlescarred centre-back at Middlesbrough – Mark Warburton and Tony Mowbray certainly have a few things in common. 

Two managers who have performed impressively in charge of two of English football’s sleeping giants, albeit while dividing supporters throughout much of their respective tenures.

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And, like Mowbray, Warburton appears to be a victim of his own success, the former Brentford and Nottingham Forest boss confirming that he will not be staying at Loftus Road following a disappointing run of results which scuppered any lingering play-off hopes. 

Who will be Queens Park Rangers’ new manager?

Warburton made his name in the third-tier, guiding Brentford to promotion in 2014. And, according to talkSPORT, the 59-year-old may be replaced by a man continuing to pull up trees in a similarly impressive manner at MK Dons. 

Manning, a former West Ham U23 coach, has guided a Scott Twine-inspired Dons side into the top-six during his first ever season in EFL management. 

“It’s a straight bat on that one – I’ve got a job to do here,” 36-year-old Manning said when asked about those QPR links.

“All my focus is on this hectic week we’ve got (MK Dons will face Wycombe Wanderers in the play-off final on Thursday night).  

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“All my energy is on this club and making sure the players are prepared. It’s part of the game: all the speculation and noise. It will never stop but my players know my attention is on them. 

“I see it as a compliment. Whether there’s any truth in it I don’t know, I’ve not heard anything.” 

Blackburn are also on the lookout for a new head coach following a promotion-destroying run of their own in 2022. Manning’s opposite number tonight – Wycombe boss Gareth Ainsworth – appears to be the early frontrunner. 

Photo by Alex Burstow/Getty Images

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