MK Dons are a little over two weeks into life under manager Paul Tisdale, who says both he and the team continue to learn more and more each day.
Tisdale’s side returned to work at Woughton on the Green in late June and have already played two friendly matches as they build up towards their Sky Bet League Two opener against Oldham Athletic at SportsDirect.com Park.
There are still 19 days between now and that trip to Greater Manchester on August 4th, which Tisdale believes is enough time for the squad to gel together.
“There is some work to do, that's for sure,” Tisdale told the media, when speaking after Friday’s friendly with Brackley Town. “There's no harm in having a bit of fear in there, knowing we have to be better.”
“We’re still finding our feet with it all but we still have some time - not a lot, but have some time to make it achievable.
“Any team has to play on the same page and we're not quite there yet. We have to get ourselves into a collective sense of mind so we are working together as a team, in attack and defence. We’ll work it out.”
He added: “Every day [I am learning] and it will take me a long time [to fully adjust]. I've seen enough football to see the shortcuts but I'm not quite there yet - I can't quite see the wood through the trees.
“It is challenging but enjoyable. I'm meeting some very nice people and there's a good spirit about the place. I've enjoyed my three weeks so far and I'm engaged with what I'm doing. I cannot wait for the new season.”
MK Dons will continue their season preparations in Spain this week. The squad flew out to Murcia on Sunday morning and will remain in the city until Saturday, training every day and playing two games against Spanish opposition.
“It's a camp dedicated to football,” Tisdale said about the trip. “They're all together for a week so the new lads will have a chance to get more familiar with their team-mates.
“We'll pick up the intensity of their work - when you have players morning, noon and night, you can pick and choose and get as much work in as possible because you're not burdened by schedules.
“Hopefully, this trip will take our fitness and sharpness levels up.”
Here is what else Tisdale had to say when he spoke to the media...
On the result and performance against Brackley...
“There is plenty to learn from it. I know from experience that you don't get too pleased when you win in pre-season and you don’t get too disappointed when you lose. I would have liked for us to have played better. Brackley are a good team. On a good surface, they had a real rhythm so well played them. There aren't too many excuses - we should have been better. I'm not too despondent with the loss, though it wasn't great. The positives are there were no injuries and most players got at least 45 minutes.
On the young players...
“Playing football can't harm them. There were a few harsh realities shown to them tonight - it's a sharp learning curve and it's all experience - there will be ups and downs. They won't be leaving here with too many of the joys of spring but its all part of their learning. They were playing with experienced players in there who can help them along the way.”
On potential new incomings...
“The thing with signing players is that it's hard to predict when it will happen. You cannot guarantee anything. You search hard for the player you want and you're constantly quantifying, asking whether it's the right decision. There's the financial element also, then there's the dynamic of the team - I have to balance it right and I can't just go out and sign loads of players. We do need some. We've made some signings already and some of those I know will come in and compete on day one - players like Ryan Harley and Jordan Moore-Taylor who I know very well. The window closes in three weeks and we’re always looking to improve.”
On players leaving Stadium MK...
“Never say never. Again, we're in a transition. I keep saying I don't know but that's the reality. Even if they want to go, someone has to want them, and people might want them but I don't want them to go. There are always three parties involved - the player and both clubs. It's very fluid at the moment and it's hard to predict where we will be in three weeks time.”
Paul Tisdale's MK Dons return to Stadium MK action on Tuesday 24th July to take on Ipswich Town in the first of two home pre-season friendlies.
Tickets for the match with the Tractor Boys 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.
Supporters can buy tickets for both pre-season friendlies (Ipswich Town and Oxford United) in a bundle deal, with prices just £18 adults, £14 seniors and £5 under-18s while under-12s go FREE*. The bundle deal prices for clubRed are £25 adults, £20 seniors, £8 under-18s and £3 under-18s.
To book tickets click HERE, visit the Box Office at Stadium MK/kiosk at centre:mk or call 0333 200 5343. Tickets will remain on sale right up until kick-off for both games. Please note, the bundle deal is not currently available to buy online. This will be available shortly.
*All under-12s go FREE. A maximum of two under-12s per paying adult.