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What we learnt: Tisdale's Northampton Town reaction

Paul Tisdale on his side's victory over Northampton Town, the change of formation and substitutions...

21 October 2018

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Paul Tisdale felt Saturday’s 1-0 victory over Northampton Town was the least his MK Dons side deserved after a strong showing at both ends of the pitch.

Tisdale’s men were dominant from the off at Stadium MK and deservedly held a lead at half-time courtesy of Kieran Agard’s fifth goal of the season.

The Dons maintained their control of the contest after the interval and had several opportunities to extend their lead while stifling the Cobblers at the other end of the field en route to their fourth straight clean sheet and league victory.

“It was great to win and I'm so pleased with how we played,” Tisdale said in his post-match press conference.

“Northampton have turned their form on it's head and they look a really gutsy team. They gave us a challenge for the first 20 minutes, and we knew we were in a game.

“We were very robust from set plays - got a goal from a set play - and we played some great football. We attacked and with fluency too and we just wanted that second goal to make it less nervy.

“I can't believe it only ended 1-0 because there were more goals in that game, but we defended really well.

“We started the season with a few topics on our agenda and one of them was toughening up our back line and defend our box well. We've put a lot more work into that than at the attacking end.

“It's about clarity, understanding the value of a clean sheet and strong, decisive defending. You have to enjoy defending, it's a really important part of it - and they do enjoy it.

“We can afford to be attack-minded when we have a defensive unit like we do, who are blocking everything and playing so well at the back. They're doing so well, four clean sheets in a row.

“Now, I just want us to be more clinical in front of goal but we're working on that. It has been a few weeks where we haven’t quite scored enough goals but, once one or two go in, the floodgates will open, I’m sure.”

Here’s what else Tisdale had to say in his post-match press conference…
On the change to the formation…
“It was a slight change. I thought [the front three] worked really well together.”

On the referee…
“I'm a long way from things so I try to resist the temptation to be critical of those small decisions. Generally, it was an open game because the referee allowed it to flow both ways. He allowed it to be end-to-end.”

On making just one substitution…
“We were discussing [making a defensive substitution] every five minutes but we felt we needed a second. If you’re unsure, do nothing. If the team is doing well, let them get on with it. We got a 1-0 win, so it seems everything was right and proper.”

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