MK Dons side travel to Stevenage this weekend and manager Paul Tisdale is expecting a tough afternoon.
Tisdale’s side sit top of Sky Bet League Two table heading into Saturday’s clash at the Lamex Stadium but will face a difficult challenge against a Boro outfit who have lost just two of their last 10 home league matches and have conceded just seven goals on their own patch this campaign
“I've been quite impressed with them so far,” Tisdale said in his pre-match press conference.
“I’m impressed with what Dino [Maamria] has done with the team. They look really competitive, they’ve got a route to goal, which they have some threat with and I think they will pose us a decent threat - we have to look at them seriously.
“For nearly 10 years ago, I've come across with Dino. He's at a club he has a lot of affinity with and he is doing a really good job. He took over last year and has done a really good job.
“Hopefully it won't manifest itself with a win for them on Saturday but, of course, I would say that!”
Saturday's game will be the first one that the Dons go into this season as league leaders and Tisdale believes that will bring with it a different type of pressure for his team.
“Our game, and our position in the league, has progressed to a place where teams see us as a strong side. Now we're at the top, that will only increase that focus.
“It will make a difference - it may give teams clarity but more things to think about - but all I can do is think about our own performance.”
Here’s what else we learnt from Paul Tisdale’s pre-match press conference…
Dons to keep focusing on keeping clean sheets
“The defence was the first thing we came to focus on and we really trained hard to achieve a defensive focus. It has helped us win games – if you keep a clean sheet, you're halfway there. It takes the pressure off the strikers. There is nothing worse than going a goal behind and having that pressure to score. I’m sure Lee Nicholls will want to continue that form, as will the defenders, and the whole team.”
Joe Walsh out until the New Year
“Joe will be out for a while. Unfortunately, the injury against Brighton [& Hove Albion] is more than just a niggle. We'll look at it more but it looks like will be into the New Year before we know what the path the recovery will be. It's a shame for Joe and for us, but we have a good squad and we march into the next week without him.”
Cargill’s suspension to provide a selection challenge for Tis
“Baily is suspended too so, for the first time, it has given me something to think about. We have had a real continuity in the defence so it will throw up one or two interesting challenges.”
Simpson to stay at Stadium MK
“His short term, six-month contract in the summer was an acknowledgement of my trust in him but also that he had been out for a year and only recently returned to fitness. It was an opportunity for him and he was someone I needed – a trustworthy player to help me in the early stages of the season. He's done that, he's proved his fitness and he's done well in the games he has played in. He's in the mix, contributing to the team and a valuable member of the dressing room. We're more than happy for him to continue until the end of the season.”
Dons discussing Healey’s future with Cardiff City
“You can't re-register a loan it until January but it’s a topic we've discussed. There are several people involved, of course, – we've got our opinions on Rhys, Rhys' opinion on whether he wants to stay, his agent, then the people who pay his wages at Cardiff City. I'll have the conversation with Neil Warnock but a month is a long time in football and things can change. We're very happy with him her and we hope he's enjoying himself but until we get to January, nothing can be sorted anyway. Fingers crossed, we're all still thinking the same thing in five weeks.
Nesbitt providing some food for thought
“He hasn't found an opportunity for himself yet and we've had an influx of players in his position but he has trained really well. There’s a clear quality to his game and clear attributes that he can bring to the team. The relationship is as good as it can be, he trains well and I respect him as a chap. Never say never - it’s a long season.”
Tickets for Saturday's clash with Stevenage can now only be bought directly through Stevenage - click HERE or call 01438 223223. Tickets are priced at £22 adults, £20 concessions*, £15 under-18s and £10 under-12s.
Coach travel is still available to book through the Club, with spaces priced at £12 for Season Ticket holders and £13 for all other supporters. Coaches will depart Stadium MK at 12.30pm.
To book travel click HERE, visit the Box Office at Stadium MK or call 0333 200 5343. Travel will be available from MK Dons until 5pm.