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Interviews

What we learnt: Tisdale's Crewe presser

Paul Tisdale talks Crewe Alexandra, injuries and the loan market...

17 August 2018

Paul Tisdale’s MK Dons have enjoyed an ideal start to the 2018/19 season and they will be looking to maintain that form when they visit Crewe Alexandra this weekend.

Tisdale has led his side to three wins out of three to start the year, including Tuesday’s convincing 3-0 triumph over Charlton Athletic in Round One of the Carabao Cup which secured a second straight clean sheet and took the team’s total number of goals scored to six.

“We won't be winning games and keeping clean sheets every week - it’s just not going to happen - but already we've got some direction and purpose to our play,” he said in his pre-match press conference ahead of Saturday's fixture at the Alexandra Stadium.

“I feel like I've been ages now. Work is challenging but we're full on and the players have responded really well. It's early days but I'm really pleased by what has happened so far.”

In MK Dons’ way of a fourth consecutive victory is a Crewe Alexandra side who were 6-0 winners in their last league match at Alexandra Stadium.

“You can't help but to sit up and pay attention to their 6-0 win over Morecambe,” Tisdale said when asked about Saturday’s opponents.

“They have a bit of thrust about them, they have a dynamic front line and they still have a core football value so it will be a tough challenge.

“David is proving to be a very efficient coach and I think there will be a new set of challenges for us at the weekend. It will be a good challenge for us on a good pitch.”

Here is what else Tisdale had to say in his pre-match press conference…
On Conor McGrandles…
“Conor has had surgery. We think it has all gone to plan and he is now on his way to recovery. Every day now is a day towards getting better. I’m sure there will be a month or two before they say he can get back into competitive football again. He will start to run again soon without competition and then he will be back with us. That’s a long way off, though.”

On Peter Pawlett…
“Peter looks like he will be out for at least a couple of months. He's still on crutches and in a boot so we’re looking at eight to 10 weeks.”

On losing both Conor and Peter so early in the season…
“When I arrived in June, it would have been impossible for me to tell you who would start that first game because I was open minded and ready to be impressed. Both of them impressed me - Conor, every time I saw him play and everything he did, I was impressed by, and Peter had a real spring in his step. It's a real blow for us, because they had cemented themselves in the team. I really feel for them. While I'm moving on to next game, they have to sit and wait. But, they’ve shown me what they are capable of and I won't forget that when they're back in training. I'm looking forward to having them back.”

On dealing with players out long-term…
“You have to empathise with what they're going through. Sometimes you have to give them time off. When you first get injured, you're so frustrated and cross and you’re cursing your luck. That first week is terrible. When you realise you're out for a couple of months, you then start to accept it. You fall into a rehab programme and that helps you. The happier they are, the better they will rehab.”

On Osman Sow, Brandon Thomas-Asante and Sam Nombe…
“It’s looking like they will all be fit around the same sort of time - I expect between two and four weeks. They will then be back into a physical state where they can play. Suddenly then, our whole squad will look completely different. It will be a really healthy dynamic to have them back, assuming we don't lose anyone else, of course.”

On the strength of depth in midfield…
“It's somewhere I've always had strength in all my teams. There is competition for places, especially with Lawson D'Ath is back in training  today too - he will give us real thrust in that midfield. Ryan Watson has picked up his game and Tuesday gave him confidence. He played to his strengths and he showed elements of his game of what could be a really good player for us.  Alex Gilbey being ready for us has been really quite useful too because of Peter and Conor being out injured.”

On the loan market…
“There's a window open, anything could happen - in or out. You never know what is around the corner. We've got a good squad here but we’ve not had it functioning or complete yet, so I have to strike a balance - we don't want to leave ourselves short but we don’t want to sign players that might help us in the very short term and then have players available in four or five weeks. We won't sign players for the sake of it when we could give some experience to our younger players. There is no crystal ball - there is no way of knowing what's around the corner.

On young players leaving on loan…
“We have spoken about it.We have to be slightly more cautious now because there are no more emergency loans and we have to look after ourselves but if there are any obvious decisions like that, we'd have to consider it.”

***

Tickets for Saturday's clash with Crewe Alexandra are priced at £22 adults, £17 seniors, £10.50 under-17s and £6.50 under-11s. Tickets for adults with a disability are priced at £17.

Tickets can now only be bought from 12pm on the day of the game from the away ticket office at the Alexandra Stadium.


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