Paul Tisdale believes his MK Dons side have benefited from their two-week break from Sky Bet League Two football, as they prepare to return to league action on Saturday against Forest Green Rovers.
Tisdale’s side didn’t play last weekend due to Yeovil Town’s international call-ups, with their last league outing a fortnight ago away at Swindon Town - a match which ended all-square.
The break provided Tisdale and his colleagues with a chance to step up the work on the training pitch and the 45-year-old is hopeful that will have a long-term positive impact.
“I really enjoyed the break,” he said in his pre-match press conference ahead of Saturday’s game at Stadium MK.
“We were disappointed initially that the game was off because we wanted to keep going with our form. It’s not a perfect scenario but you make the best of what you’ve got and what we had was a 10-day break.
"As soon as we knew it was postponed we got on with what we know we could achieve from it - which was a rest and more detailed coaching work.
“It doesn’t mean we’ll be any better than we were last time out but we’ve added more meat to the bones and it was a good chance to do that. Now we are refreshed and ready to go.”
While it’s been two weeks since MK Dons’ last league fixture, it’s been a further seven days since their most recent league encounter at Stadium MK - the 1-0 win over Exeter City.
Tisdale and his team are excited to be back in Milton Keynes this weekend.
“We’ve felt some real enthusiasm grow around the place,” he said. “I’ve enjoyed watching the supporters have a smile on their face - in some of the recent games there has been a real increase in the amount of enthusiasm and enjoyment around the place.
“It’s really pleasing, as the manager, when you feel the place come to life and I hope that continues. We’ll be aiming to play some football which gives credit to that on Saturday.”
Here is what else Tisdale had to say in his pre-match press conference...
On having food for thought after Peterborough United performance...
“They have given me [food for thought] - that’s the whole point in running a squad and making it competitive. There has to be a path through to playing in the first team at all times and there is every chance that one of the players [who played against Peterborough United] will be considered for Saturday’s game against Forest Green Rovers. I’m not a manager that will pick a team because they won their last game. Every game is different and the more players that are available gives me more opportunities to pick how I want to play.”
On goals being shared across the pitch...
“I really don’t mind who scores, as long as we score more goals than the opposition. It sounds a bit simplistic but it’s true. I’d rather five players score 10 goals than two players score 20 for obvious reasons. If you have all players that think they can score, then you have a really good chance of winning the game.”
On Osman Sow...
“There is nothing wrong, [missing out against Peterborough United] was just part of his process. When a player has been out with an injury and they come back, there isn’t a straight line to coming back fully fit. There will be ups and downs along the way and the body has to rest. After a period of time you recover but he’s going through that period where he’s back in training and competing for a place in the side but he’s also still going through the process of letting his injury settling down and getting ready of the robust nature of games week after week.”
On Conor McGrandles...
“Conor is healing but we’re not there yet with it - he’s still got a way to go. He’s just started to run which is good news. The bones have started to knit, his eyesight has made big improvements and it looks like we are on a positive curve towards full fitness. I don’t know how long that will take but he’s upbeat about what is possible.”
On Brandon Thomas-Asante...
“Brandon is okay. He played in an Under-23s game this week. He’s missed a lot of football but he’s full of energy and now he needs to put a few weeks together that’ll form his pre-season. If you think, the players who are now playing in the team have had a six-week pre-season - those who are coming back from injury need to do that period of time before they are fit for purpose.”
On Ryan Harley...
“Ryan has been training the last couple of days. Remember, it’s not a case of if they are training, they are fit to play - they have to be robust enough to get through a game without further injury. He’s back on the training ground now, though, which is really good news.”
On Lawson D’Ath and Peter Pawlett...
“Lawson and Pete are getting better but they are both still wearing their boots so they are still not yet putting full weight through their ankles. It’s frustrating for them especially when they see the team developing and making progress - they want to be part of it. Unfortunately, life as an injured footballer means you have to be patient. We haven’t forgot about them but at the moment they are still doing their rehab although they are both getting better.”
On Forest Green Rovers...
“Forest Green have made some sensible singings. They look like they are improving as a team and have the capability of continuing to play the really good football, which they had last year. They are team I think can beat anybody on their day with the way they play – I think we need to have our wits about us and we should believe what we can do but we shouldn’t underestimate them at all.”
On wearing red...
“We’re wearing red on Saturday as there has been a quirk in kit colours. So everyone, let’s wear that kit on Saturday and support the team.”
Tickets for Saturday's clash with Forest Green Rovers 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 or call 0333 200 5343. Tickets will be available to buy right up until kick-off.