Paul Tisdale believes the next three matches will provide his MK Dons side with an indicator for where they are in their development.
Tisdale’s team travel to Sky Bet League Two leaders Lincoln City this weekend before making a trip to Somerset on Tuesday to face Yeovil Town, who boast the division’s top defensive record and the second best scoring tally.
Then they entertain eight-placed Tranmere Rovers who have Sky Bet League Two’s top goalscorer James Norwood in their side.
“It looks like it will be a testing week for us,” Tisdale said in his pre-match press conference. “I think this time next week, we will have a good indication of where we sit.
“Lincoln are at the top of the league - they are the early pace setters. It will be a great atmosphere [at Sincil Bank] and they look to be a productive side already. Yeovil have had some really positive results this year and have been free flowing, so they will be a test for us.
“It will be a good barometer for where we are as a team.”
MK Dons go into Saturday’s game still unbeaten but with a point to prove after a below-par performance against Forest Green Rovers last weekend at Stadium MK.
The draw was the team's fourth of the campaign and turning those stalemates into victories is on Tisdale's list of priorities.
“We want to win more games than we draw,” he said. “We’ve learnt a lot in the first six or seven games - we've been very competent but we need to up certain parts of our game.
“We're picking up points but it's the performances we need to improve on. Our frame of mind was much better after the draw with Grimsby Town because we played with more intent and freedom.
“I want people to enjoy watching us. We want to play with a bit more gusto. I know how I want us to play and although we're not there yet, we’ve made good progress so far.”
Here is what else Tisdale had to say in his pre-match press conference...
On facing Lincoln City in the play-offs last season...
“Football moves on very quickly. Last year is last year and they'll be a stern test for us on Saturday. Any game that I've experienced I will use but ultimately it will come down to the 22 players on the day this Saturday.”
On Baily Cargill...
“He's edging back into training. It wasn't anything serious but it was enough for him to come off the field. We've got lots of very able players, so if it's not Baily it will be someone else but I'm hoping he will be fit.”
On the travel times coming up in the next few days...
“The players are professional so we don't really talk about it. It's part of the job and it's really not an issue. Given where I’ve come from, the distances we have to travel from here at MK Dons are not as bad as it might seem! It's not relevant and it won't be an excuse. I expect and hope for us to get as many points away as we get home. The supporters have really travelled well, and I'm really grateful for what they've given us. Yeovil is a long way on Tuesday night but there has been no shortage of support and encouragement for us.”
On Jordan Moore-Taylor’s best position...
“Behind the ball somewhere. I'm not going to play him as a number 10 - I think he can be safe in being selected elsewhere! I like my players to be adaptable. I've always wanted to develop a team where most players can play several positions. The game is fluid, so you have players who are good behind the ball, ahead of it or in the thick of it. Jordan is someone who is very strong behind the ball, be it in midfield or at centre back. I'm pleased with what he has done since he arrived here. There are still things I'd like him to improve on but that's for me and him to know!”
Tickets, which MUST be bought from MK Dons before 5pm today, are priced at £22 adults, £17 concessions and young adults and £9 under-18s.
Travel is available at a rate of £18 for Season Ticket holders and £19 for all other supporters. Coaches will depart from Stadium MK at 11am.
To book tickets click HERE, visit the Box Office at Stadium MK or call 0333 200 5343. Tickets will be available to buy from MK Dons until 12pm today. No tickets will be sold on the day of the game at Sincil Bank.