mkdons.com details the four storylines to follow heading into Tuesday's Sky Bet League Two clash with Grimsby Town...
Maintaining the unbeaten start
MK Dons will be looking to stretch their unbeaten start to the season this Tuesday and make it five games without defeat to begin the 2018/19 campaign.
Paul Tisdale’s team have started the term with two league wins, a cup triumph and a hard-fought draw away from home, sitting them fourth in the Sky Bet League Two table on seven points and placing them in Round Two of the Carabao Cup.
Only twice before has an MK Dons side managed to avoid a loss in their opening five matches of a season, while a five-game unbeaten stretch would equal their best undefeated run since the 2014/15 promotion-winning season.
The longer this form goes on, the more confidence Tisdale and his MK Dons side will gain as they look to secure achieve a bounce-back season.
Making Stadium MK a fortress
Tisdale’s side have the opportunity to make it three straight home wins which is something which hasn’t been done since the 2014/15 promotion-winning season.
MK Dons won just eight home matches in all competitions last season and nine the year before that. Should they secure a third win on Tuesday, they would be almost half-way to matching those totals with the season still in its infancy.
Manager Tisdale recently spoke of the importance of his team performing well at Stadium MK. He said: “[The home form] is something we’ve discussed numerous times having looked at the data over the last few years. It’s something that needs to be focussed upon.
“The way we’re going to lift our performances over the first few months is by creating and sustaining an energy and a purpose in our home form.”
Tisdale’s side followed up a 1-0 home win over Bury with a dominant 3-0 success against Charlton Athletic in Round One of the Carabao Cup.
Keeping the sheets clean
MK Dons’ goalless draw with Crewe Alexandra on Saturday made it three straight games without conceding a goal.
Tisdale’s side haven’t been breached in 319 minutes of football, with goalkeeper Lee Nicholls having very little to do between the sticks due to the impressive performances of the defenders in front of him.
The 25-year-old stopper is happy for that to continue. He said: “We have been solid. Whoever has played in front of me has been different class. I think I've only had to make one or two diving saves so far this season, which is a totally different experience from last season, to be honest.”
Games coming thick and fast
MK Dons are into a stretch which will see them play nine games in just 28 days, including two this week at Stadium MK.
Tisdale has only really rotated his side once, for the Carabao Cup clash with Charlton Athletic, but the depth of his squad may be called into action in the coming weeks as his side look to maintain their form.
“We’ve got to keep the players going,” he told the media on Saturday when asked about the games coming thick and fast. “Players will be tired but we’re into the season now so it’s important to be robust and your body needs to start coping with the demands. We need to keep players fit and focused - whether there’s one game a week or two.”
Fond memories against the Mariners
MK Dons face Grimsby Town for the first time in over 10 years this Tuesday evening and the last meeting is one that should evoke positive memories amongst MK Dons fans.
That is because the last fixture between the two clubs was the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy final held at Wembley Stadium in March 2008.
A Paul Ince-led MK Dons side ran-out 2-0 winners that day, with goals from Keith Andrews and Sean O’Hanlon and a Willy Gueret penalty saving securing the Club’s first ever trophy.
While there is no trophy up for grabs this week, it should provide home supporters inside Stadium MK with a moment of reflection ahead of kick-off.
Tickets for Tuesday's clash with Grimsby Town are priced from £22 adults, £17 over-65s and £7 under-18s while under-12s go FREE with a Young Dons members. Supporters can upgrade their seat to East Centre for just £5 more while an upgrade to clubRed is available for a £10 premium.
Don’t forget, with a Club Dons membership you can enjoy a £5 discount on 10 EFL matches during the 2018/19 season - Young Dons members are entitled to £1 off all 2018/19 EFL matches. Season Ticket holders can also bring a friend for FREE on one occasion during the campaign while Premier Members can do so twice.
To book tickets click HERE, visit the Box Office/cash-only ticket booths around Stadium MK or call 0333 200 5343. Tickets will be available to buy right up until kick-off.
Can’t make the game? Supporters will be able to watch this match on iFollow MK Dons - click HERE to purchase a Match Pass for £10.