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What we learnt: Tisdale's Cheltenham presser

Boss on Saturday's fixture, not having a first-choice starting XI and his injured players...

5 October 2018

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What we learnt: Tisdale's Cheltenham presser

Boss on Saturday's fixture, not having a first-choice starting XI and his injured players...

5 October 2018

After returning to winning ways in midweek, MK Dons manager Paul Tisdale wants his side to continue producing positive performances and turning those displays into victories.

Tisdale’s men beat Port Vale 2-0 at Vale Park to record their first league win in six matches and climb to sixth in the Sky Bet League Two table.

They entertain Cheltenham Town this weekend at Stadium MK looking to make it back-to-back successes - a feat they haven’t achieved since the opening weeks of the season.

“Tuesday’s win was a boost in terms of the fact there is now product behind the work we are putting in,” Tisdale said in his pre-match press conference.

“I’m pleased because it starts to show we are heading in the right direction but I don’t want to get too pleased because it’s just one win.

“Our job now is to look at the next few games and try to re-produce it. This game is about winning and putting ourselves into a promotion position - we have to turn our performances into results like we did on Tuesday and we need to do that more often in the future.”

Although victorious on the night, MK Dons' dominance against the Valiants in midweek wasn’t reflected in the scoreline and putting teams to the sword with more goals is the next aim for Tisdale’s side.

“I think the next thing for us to win a game comprehensively and not just like we did Tuesday, albeit with a thoroughly competent and dominate performance, but turn that into three or four goals.

“We’ve had two or three opportunities already to put a team to bed and we haven’t quite done that. Instead, we’ve been competitive in every game this season and every game has been on a knife-edge to win it.

“Hopefully we can do that at home at some point to bring some enjoyment back to Stadium MK. However, you have to be respectful of every opponent you play and we can’t just wish that this Saturday or any Saturday.

"What you have to do is take the opportunity when you get the opportunity. That’s what I’m hoping for soon.”

Here’s what else Tisdale had to say in his pre-match press conference…
On how he wants his team to play…
“The team has responded to everything I’ve asked so far. All that I have done is kept the targets and the directions simple, step-by-step. I’ve never asked for too much too soon. We’re targeting achievable targets within our play. In the last few games we have increased our attacking intent and that’s certainly shown by the opportunities we’ve created in the games. We’re beginning to show some rhythm. We’re certainly not at a point where I can sit back and tell the players to maintain that level - we’ve still got a lot more to do. I think it’s quite clear to see that we need to improve our composure in front of goal and our ability to be clinical in the final third. So far so good, though.”

On having a first-choice starting XI…
“Not really. My teams will always be flexible and have an ability to adapt within a game. In terms of being a productive team over a period of time, you need a squad. To come out and say I have one XI - one, that’s unlikely and two, I wouldn’t encourage it because you’re only one suspension and injury away from that changing. I’ve very much got an open mind about players coming in and out of the team and having different roles. The door needs to remain open for every player. The squad will learn over time with me that just because I win a game, doesn’t mean I won’t change the team. It’s about the next game, the opposition and getting the best out of our squad. It’s a long season and we’ll need everyone.”

On Kieran Agard maintaining his goalscoring form…
“It’s really important for the team and great if he can do it for his own confidence and rhythm. He’s scored from open play in his last two starts and, being a striker, scoring goals is very much about confidence and that intangible calmness you get from that confidence. The goals will have done him the world of good.”

On Osman Sow…
“He picked up a groin strain in the game against Lincoln [City] so he’s dropped out of it. If you look at the forward line, we’ve already had Sam Nombe, Brandon Thomas-Asante, Osman, Chuks, Robbie Simpson and Ryan Harley have all missed games. It’s a tough league, League Two and you need a big squad because these things happen.”

On Ryan Harley…
“He’s broken down with another injury in his rehabilitation. It’s really frustrating for Ryan but something that often happens when a player picks up one injury, they often pick up another.”

On Conor McGrandles…
“He’s doing great. He’s eye is at a point where he can start training but not quite yet, Physically he can run around alright but the damage he took around his eye isn’t quite 100 percent yet.”

On Peter Pawlett…
“Peter has been out training this week but not with the team yet. You’ve got the bridge between the treatment room and full fitness and he’s on that bridge. He’s got his boots on and he’s running around kicking a ball, though, which is great to see, having only seen him for 42 seconds this year! He impressed so much during pre-season - he was one of the picks of pre-season. We’ve talked about putting the ball in the back of the net - he will be a big boost for us with that when he’s back.”


Tickets for Saturday's clash with Cheltenham Town 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.

Don’t forget, with a Club Dons membership you can enjoy a £5 discount on 10 EFL matches during the 2018/19 season - Young Dons members are entitled to £1 off all 2018/19 EFL matches.

Season Ticket holders can also bring a friend for FREE on one occasion during the campaign while Premier Members can do so twice.

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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