Paul Tisdale is beginning to see signs that his MK Dons side are establishing their new identity, after they beat Exeter City 1-0 at Stadium MK.
Tisdale’s side moved second in the Sky Bet League Two table courtesy of Kieran Agard’s second-half penalty and the team’s fourth clean sheet of the campaign. The Dons are unbeaten after six games in 2018/19 and have won three out of four matches in all competitions at Stadium MK.
“We’re beginning to build an identity and a purpose and it’s beginning to show,” Tisdale said in his post-match press conference.
“When speaking to the players just before the game, there was no tactics talk - that was all done during the week - it was about playing as a team, committing to each other, the feel you give to your teammates and the trust and responsibility - all the stuff that might sound a bit fluffy but put together makes a great deal of difference to the way the team displays.
“I complimented them after the game because there are lots of things we’re looking to build this year and today’s performance and result will go a long way towards that. We weren’t perfect it’s coming.”
Saturday saw Tisdale face his former club Exeter City for the first time and when asked about the occasion, the 45-year-old thanked his players for getting him through.
“It was really odd,” he said. “I asked the players for some help today - I told them that I help them most of the time, so today is the day they help me. I wanted them to make sure we were the team people would be talking about after.
“I asked them for their help today and they did that - so thank you very much to the players.”
Here’s what else Tisdale had to say in his post-match press conference…
On the performance…
“I don’t want to look through rose-tinted glasses but we were very solid, considered, sensible and tough when we had to be. I thought our performance built nicely during the game. I don’t remember Lee [Nicholls] having to make a meaningful save. We were very considered and pragmatic in the way we played. I know the red card suddenly tipped the balance but I thought we were beginning to become more dominant at that point anyway.”
On his thoughts after the penalty miss…
“I knew there was a long time to go. We were trying to get the message out to the players to relax and don’t be over keen.”
On Kieran Agard…
“His first penalty was actually a really good save - it was right in the corner. There was no umbrage taken with me at all. To step up and take the second one - well done him. If you fail the second time, you know how that looks so to step up and take it again, well, I admire him greatly for that.”
On a Man of the Match performance from Baily Cargill…
“That was his first 90 minutes, having missed pre-season, and I’m pleased with the way he played. He’s someone I’ve admired for a long time and this was an opportunity to work with him. I believe he will flourish here because the way we are set up is made for him. He’s a very accomplished footballer and he’s going to fit in very nicely.”
On Rhys Healey…
“It’s nice to have him here. He is what we need at the moment - more players at the front. It was good to get him on the pitch. It was hard to judge him today but I’m sure he’ll do very well for us.”
On moving on to the next game…
“Football is relentless. It’s one game after another. The next game is always the most important game so it’s onto the next."
Tisdale and MK Dons turn their attention to the Carabao Cup on Tuesday night when they take on AFC Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium.
Tickets are priced at just £8 adults, £5 over-65s/students and £3 under-21s if bought from MK Dons before 2pm on the day of the game. Tickets purchased after this time at the Vitality Stadium will be subject to a price increase.
Travel is on sale too, priced at £20 for Season Ticket holders/members and £21 for all other supporters. Coaches will depart Stadium MK at 3pm.
To book tickets/travel click HERE, visit the Box Office at Stadium MK or call 0333 200 5343. Tickets will remain on sale from MK Dons until 2pm on the day of the game.