CHRIS Hogg says the reunion that he and Oxford United boss Liam Manning face with MK Dons tonight is ‘just another game of football’.

Hogg and Manning were sacked by the Dons in December after a sluggish start to the 2022/23 campaign.

That came after a promising 2021/22 season, which saw the duo lead the Buckinghamshire side to a third-placed finish in Sky Bet League One.

The Dons were then beaten 2-1 on aggregate by Wycombe Wanderers in the play-off semi-finals, but the side received plaudits for their entertaining style of play.

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Coaches Hogg and Manning then joined United in March, guiding the club to safety in the third tier.

The U’s have kicked on this campaign and after a promising opening seven games, the team finds itself third in League One and just a point off top spot.

Before United return to league action at home to league leaders Exeter City on Saturday, Hogg and Manning, plus goalkeeping coach Lewis Price, must prepare for a reunion with the Dons in the EFL Trophy.

Hogg said: “It’s about being professional, and going in and doing your job, and trying to stay level on that sort of stuff.

“Naturally, people will look at it with the manager, myself and Pricey having been there previously.

“We’ve got some good memories and worked with some terrific players whilst we were there, but football being football, it is now about Oxford United and us turning up to do the job properly, and making sure we prepare the boys as best we can to go and perform to their best capabilities.

“It’s just another game of football. We’ll see a few faces that we know, but I’ve always said that once you move on, you appreciate the memories and have gratitude for some of the connections we’ve had fans at the time.”

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The U’s won their opening game in Group F of the EFL Trophy earlier this month, securing a 3-1 victory at Northampton Town.

Following on from Saturday’s 3-0 triumph at Fleetwood Town in League One, it is likely players will again be rested, and Hogg wants to see whoever step out on the pitch maintain the winning mindset.

“It’s a game to try and keep the wining mentality in the group,” he said.

“In the last game against Northampton, the boys who came in did really well in terms of continuing some of the work that we do.

“A lot of the things we’re trying to build here is team first and trying to build a culture of being all in together.

“It’ll be an opportunity to see some of those boys again. Hopefully you’ll see the boys go and perform with a smile on their face, and working as hard as they can.”

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