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What we learnt: Tisdale's Oldham presser

The key talking points from Paul Tisdale's first pre-match press conference of the season...

3 August 2018

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This Saturday, Paul Tisdale will lead MK Dons out for the very first time in a competitive fixture - over two months after his appointment as Stadium MK chief.

Tisdale and his side face Oldham Athletic at Park in their first game of the 2018/19 Sky Bet League Two season, and after a busy summer period - which has seen 10 new players arrive at Stadium MK - the boss is eager to finally get going for real.

“I’m generally very happy with how pre-season has gone but now the reality kicks in,” he said in his pre-match press conference.

“There's an excitement but there's a reality too because this is business time for us - it is about being successful.

“On Saturday at 3pm, we need to be competitive. We want to win every game - home or away I don't differentiate. Until the final whistle goes, we have a chance to win every game.”

MK Dons face an Oldham side this weekend who, similarly to them, are adjusting to being back in Sky Bet League Two following relegation last term and are beginning life under a new manager.

With plenty of uncertainty, therefore, on how they will line up and perform, Tisdale believes it’s important that the team focus on their own play while still paying their opponents the upmost respect.

“I'd be lying if I said I knew everything about them - they're in transition too, coming down like us, and it’s one of those times of year where you don't get the full picture on a team because you don't get to see behind the scenes.

“Therefore, it’s important for us to establish our own patterns on the game as soon as possible.”

Here is what else Tisdale had to say in his first pre-match press conference of the season...

On pre-season...
“I'm hesitant to say anything too positive because on Saturday night it may all be irrelevant. For more, pre-season is judged by how many players have come through fit and unscathed. The medical staff have done a tremendous job in getting Joe Walsh and Alex Gilbey especially back into contention. Chuks Aneke and Osman Sow are closer by the day too so in those terms, it has been very successful.”

On transfers before next week’s deadline...
“It works in two ways - what we do and what other clubs do in looking at our players. Sometimes when other clubs come knocking, you're the last ones to know. In terms of our business so far, I'm happy with it.”

On recruiting a striker...
“People forget we have Osman and Chuks unavailable at the moment but they're not far away. Osman is not ready, but Chuks is back in training. I have to get the balance right between having seven players for those two positions if we sign somebody and just waiting for the pair to get fit. We have two players of real calibre up there, and when they get back, they will feel like two new signings.”

On Chuks Aneke’s future...
“Until anything changes, yes [I expect him to stay] because he's under contract. There has been conversation and debate about it but I've had nothing tangible come to me to suggest he won't be. I'm talking to him as if he will be here this season.”

On Callum Brittain’s injury...
“[Callum Brittain] fully trained [on Thursday]. Unless there's an issue afterwards, he has come through it so it's good news.”

On Alex Gilbey and Joe Walsh’s availability...
“I don't want to tempt fate but Alex Gilbey has come through much quicker than we thought. I'm still not going to get too carried away until he has put a significant run of games together but there's no reason why he shouldn't be in contention for Saturday. Joe Walsh has had an erratic pre-season which has slowed his progress down but he’s fit and available too.”

On the importance of Alex Gilbey...
“He will be, if he's available, a considerable asset to us. We're harbouring ambitions of promotion and he's the sort of player who will get us close to that.”


Tickets for Saturday's clash with Oldham Athletic are priced at £22 adults, £10 seniors, students and under-21s and £7 under-18s, and can now only be bought at Park.

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