Paul Tisdale was pleased his MK Dons side were able to wrap-up their pre-season campaign with a positive performance and result against Oxford United.
MK Dons rode an early storm from their visitors to then establish themselves as the dominant team at Stadium MK and 20 minutes into the second half they scored the decisive goal courtesy of swift attacking move, finished off by Kieran Agard.
Tisdale was happy with the evening’s work. He told the media afterwards: “It wasn't all perfect but I'm pleased to win, for Kieran Agard to score a really good goal and for there to be a lot of positive performances all over the pitch.
“There has been a step up in the last two weeks, in terms of the way the team has competed, the connection on the pitch and the proximity of our play.
“We had some drive about us. We haven't over coached it but I've been asking them to think with a bit of freedom and intent. - when you think like that, sometimes things go your way.
“They had a really good 10 minutes at the start but what I liked was how we let them have the ball, held firm and then built our performance. I'm really pleased with how he worked today.”
Agard’s goal was his third of pre-season and the striker drew praise from his manager, along with midfielder Conor McGrandles who came off the bench to feature in four different positions.
“We've really worked on getting [Kieran Agard] in the game more because he will come to life in front of goal. It wasn't always perfect but the ball was in and around him a lot more today and he had opportunities to give their centre backs some problems. Even without the goal, his actions and how he troubled the defence impressed me.
“He has a specific set of skills that I admire and think we can use. It's my job to get the best out of him, play to him and get the strengths out of him.
“I also want to say how well Conor McGrandles played. He came off the bench and played four positions - when you're a good player, you can do that and he did it without breaking a stride. Conor showed today he has a good set of skills and he's a good footballer.”
Here is what else Tisdale had to say in his post-match media address…
On Chuks Aneke and Osman Sow…
“[Chuks Aneke and Osman Sow] are not ready to play. Chuks has bridged the gap between not training and training - now we just have to train him for a while. There has been a step made there but in terms of selectability, clearly you have to train before you can play. Osman is recovering and is edging closer but it's not just around the corner - we’re talking some weeks yet. It's a shame because I'd have liked to see them play but as yet no. That's the nature of football - I won't learn everything in the first few weeks, especially if players are injured.”
On Brandon Thomas-Asante and Sam Nombe…
“Brandon is on crutches, as is Sam. They're both in those snow-boots with crutches but they're keeping a brave face. They’re both spirited and we wish them well but they'll be out a while yet.”
On Callum Brittain and Oran Jackson…
“There was no point risking Oran so late in the day but I've not had the chance to see Callum - he picked up a really nasty knock so I'm keeping my fingers crossed on that one.
On pre-season translating to the season…
“I've done so many pre-season and whatever you do in pre-season won’t be an indicator of what will happen in the league, even if it’s the next week. The intensity, the tempo, the pressure - everything will ramp up a notch or two, or three. Whatever happened tonight is largely irrelevant when it comes to next week.”
On the starting XI for Oldham Athletic…
“I do have an idea but I'm not 100 per cent there yet. There are factors I cannot control but also there will be decisions I make. Tonight’s performances has allowed me to glean some more opinion. We're close, but not 100 per cent there.”
Paul Tisdale's MK Dons begin their 2018/19 season next Saturday afternoon when they take on Oldham Athletic at SportsDirect.com Park.
Tickets are priced at £18 adults, £8 seniors, students and under-21s and £5 under-18s if bought in advance from MK Dons. Ticket prices will increase on the day of the game.
Official Away Travel is available for this game at a price of £23 adults and £22 under-18s. Season Ticket holders and members are entitled to a £1 discount on Official Away Travel.
To book tickets click HERE, visit the Box Office at Stadium MK or call 0333 200 5343. Tickets will remain on sale from the Club until 5pm on Friday 3rd August.