Paul Tisdale was full of praise for his squad after they came through the ‘battle’ at Boundary Park with all three points.
Tisdale’s MK Dons began the 2018/19 season with a 2-1 victory over Oldham Athletic, despite losing three players to injury and having to play the final minutes with 10 men as a result of that.
“It was a battle,” Tisdale said in his post-match press conference. “Both sets of players were very committed.
“We're not at our peak by any means so I'm delighted to get the three points, especially with all the challenges we had to get 11 people through the game.
“We had players injured, which made life a lot harder for us. We had 10 men at the end but there were some big, big performances. I was really impressed with us defensively. We stuck to our task at the end and we just about got over the line.
“It was a hectic game. There was some fluid football but I'd like us to have been more composed with more possession, but I'm being a bit harsh really. We didn’t half defend well - the players put their bodies on the line, got their head on the ball first and I'm delighted with them.”
He concluded: “There are many ways to win a match and we did enough - that's what it's about, doing enough.”
Saturday was Tisdale’s first official match in charge of MK Dons, following his appointment back in May.
When asked about his debut, the 45-year-old said: “Strangely, it was like any other game. I was just a football manager stood in a technical area watching my team take on another team for 90 minutes of football.
“This is the reality of it - every week it is me and my players against the opponents. I'm representing another club but when it comes to 3pm, we're in that zone and we desperately wanted those three points.”
Here is what else Tisdale had to say in his post-match press conference…
On the penalty decision…
“It was a clear penalty - George [Williams] got goal-side and he got pulled back so fair play to the referee for giving what he saw. It's a little pointer for my players this season, showing that referees will be more vigilant this season.”
On scoring a crucial second goal…
“To score a second within that 10 minute period was excellent. We then played some pretty good football and probably did enough to score another goal today. On the other hand, they had enough pressure to deserve a second too. They had pressure, we had counters, but whatever it was, we scored one more than them today.”
On the 2-0 scoreline…
“When you go 2-0 up away from home, two things will happen - the home side will respond or you go and score a third. Their goal on 40 minutes was a sign of things to come.”
On the Oldham goal…
“As a manager, you look at any goal and look at the small mistakes leading up to it, but I won't spend too much time looking at it. Players are out there to play and they will make honest mistakes. It was a lovely finish but it was something they needed and we didn't need heading into half time.”
On the injuries…
“We had Conor [McGrandles], Jordan Houghton had stitches at half time and Peter Pawlett went over on his ankle in the first minute. We've had more injuries than I'd hoped for. Thank goodness we don't have a game Tuesday because it gives us time to get fit and ready for next week.”
On the final few days of transfer window…
“I don't know [about business] to be honest. Every window ends with a panic and it's much earlier this year too. I’m sure something will corp up we don't know about or aren't prepared for, as it always does. We have to be on our toes and take an opportunity if it presents itself. I am happy with the [squad] the way it is.”
Next up for Paul Tisdale and MK Dons is the home opener against Bury on Saturday 11th August.
Tickets 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.
Club Dons members can enjoy a £5 discount on 10 EFL matches during the 2018/19 season while 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 at Stadium MK or call 0333 200 5343.