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What we learnt: Tisdale's Colchester United presser

Transcript from Paul Tisdale's pre-match press conference...

21 December 2018

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Paul Tisdale held his pre-match press conference this Thursday – here are all the subjects he covered.

On the Newport postponement...

"It happens – we moved on quickly to the next game and preparing for Colchester. But it was a long 24 hours with nothing at the end of it. That's life!

We just moved on really, I said 'see you Monday!' There are pros and cons, we'll have to play them on a Tuesday night, it will be a late journey home. But if we win, we won't think anything of it, if we lose, we might look back on this. But it's a long way away yet. We're used to it, it's what you get."

On the Christmas schedule...

"There is no tried-and-tested way of doing things at Christmas. You can get drawn into doing things because of what people expect of you, whether that's having time off or not, but I'll look at this year differently because of this different situation. It's a different group of players, the geography is different, the dynamic is different. We have to be respectful of people, families and the travel. Yes, there's some work to be done over Christmas, but you cannot stop people travelling to see their families. We have to get that balance right. But we will do everything we can to be ready for Cheltenham on Boxing Day. Whatever you do does not guarantee success."

On building a positive environment at Stadium MK...

"It's a by-product of making sure everything is in order off and on the pitch. And when the players start playing better, you can add the more exciting things and that brings fans back through the doors. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by how many season tickets we had sold considering the last few years. That gave me a lot of confidence that there is a base support here. Hopefully, we're building something now. The players aren't encouraged to think like that, but if you think correctly, you will act correctly. When the players play freely and enjoy it, it happens."

On Chuks Aneke...

"He's running. He has missed three weeks of training. There's a big step between someone running and playing. Hopefully, he will be back sometime over the Christmas period."

On Colchester United...

"We cannot underestimate any team, especially not one third in the league. We thought they were a good side last year, but they've improved again this year - they will want to win as much as we do.

There will come a point where you'll mention six-pointers, we're not quite halfway through yet but ultimately as we go, we will look at where we are in the league and that target is to be above fourth place because that gets us promoted. I think we're entitled to talk like that given where we are in the league. Every three points is useful, and OK, we're not yet at a six-pointer but it would help."

On his time at MK Dons so far...

"It has been an enjoyable one. I settled in really quickly, I thought there may have been a case for having a break, but the change was better than the break. It has revitalised some of my work and I'm really pleased for that, I'm really enjoying working with a new set of players, I've had a lot of support from everyone and the players have listened which is always useful! They have put it into some good performances, so if I had to give myself a school report, I'd say 'So far, so good, but work to be done.'"

On the atmosphere in the squad...

"We spend a lot of time together, so it's important they all get on. We can't all be friends, it's a group of 30-odd, plus a load of other staff, you can't all be best of friends but you can get on and respect each other, come into work and enjoy yourself. They know the boundaries.

"We had our Christmas lunch, they were all very jolly, but they know as soon as it's over, it's time to work again. I'm really pleased with how they have interacted. After two relegations in three years, it was one of the first things to put right – the camaraderie and the environment. They can make such a difference."


Tickets for Saturday's clash with Colchester United 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.

To book tickets click HERE, visit the Box Office/cash-only ticket booths or call 0333 200 5343. Tickets will be available to buy right up until kick-off.

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