Paul Tisdale enjoyed his first experience of leading out MK Dons at Stadium MK this week and the manager will have one final dress rehearsal tonight before it all starts for real in eight days time.
Tisdale took charge of his first home fixture as MK Dons chief against Ipswich Town on Tuesday and will manage the side at Stadium MK again this evening, with Oxford United the visitors for the team’s final friendly of the summer.
“I'd have preferred not to lose but I really enjoyed being out there,” Tisdale told the media after the 1-0 defeat to Ipswich Town.
“This is a top quality football venue and we need to do it justice going forward.”
On the performance against Sky Bet Championship opposition, Tisdale said: “I think it was a credible evening, playing against a team in the Championship. I'm disappointed with the goal because things would have looked a lot more credible if it stayed 0-0.
“We'd like to have won and scored goals. We have to improve the route to goal - that's one thing we have to spend a bit more time on.
“We're asking them to do different things on the pitch - we issued two or three instructions at different stages to see how they reacted because we’re still learning.
He continued: “For us, it’s about getting the best out of the players and trying to establish something which highlights our strengths and hides our weaknesses. I'd like to establish some clarity with how we play.
“We've got some time but it was a decent start [against Ipswich Town].
Here is what else Tisdale had to say in his post-match media address...
On players that stood out...
“Alex Gilbey coming back to play 45 minutes was a positive. He is ahead of schedule, which is really good and a big plus for everyone. Jordan Moore-Taylor really stood out as a strong contender today. We had some good bright performances from off the bench too - Liam Sole looked lively, and the young back four, for the last 15 minutes had a difficult task, but they did really well.
On the transfer market...
“Before the window closes, the possibilities of players going in and out are still there. There's nothing definite, though, because at this time of year, the landscape chances day-to-day. We've still got a few weeks to go and then there's the loan window too. We'll just keep a watching brief on it.”
On expectations for the season...
“We're not playing a game here - our expectations should be to do as good as we can do. There will be a lot more than three or four teams thinking they can make it this season, then after 10 or 12 games, some teams will begin to think they won't make it. If things go right and we find a rhythm, we've got a chance of making it to the top part of the league. I have a lot of work to do but we'd be doing ourselves a disservice if we aim too low. That said, I'm very practical about things - the last few seasons haven't been great and I have to stop the wheels turning backwards before we can turn them forwards.”
On the signing of Jordan Moore-Taylor...
“I have full confidence in him. I was very keen to get here because I think he can add something. Already you can see he's very assured and he's very strong. He also has a lot of experience for a 24-year-old. But, any signing is a only good signing when he's been consistent for a long period. Its early days and now he has to turn it into a long season of good performances before we can call it a good signing.”
Tickets for tonight’s game with Oxford United are priced at £10 adults, £8 seniors and £3 under-18s while under-12s go FREE*. In clubRed, tickets are priced at £15 adults, £12 seniors, £5 under-18s and £2 under-12s.
To book tickets click HERE, visit the Box Office at Stadium MK or call 0333 200 5343. Tickets will remain on sale right up until kick-off.
Can’t make the game? iFollow MK Dons will have full, live commentary from Stadium MK with BBC Three Counties presenter Luke Ashmead and MK Dons’ leading goalscorer Izale McLeod - click HEREto sign up for as little as £4.49 a month.