Paul Tisdale is pleased to be in the second round of the Carabao Cup and doesn’t view the extra game as a hinderance.
MK Dons retained their place in the Carabao Cup competition courtesy of a 4-2 penalty shoot-out success over AFC Wimbledon at the Cherry Red Records Stadium on Tuesday night.
The win sets up a trip to Southend United in Round Two and Tisdale views the upcoming tie as another great opportunity to utilise his squad’s depth.
“I’m really pleased [to be in the next round”, he said in his pre-match press conference ahead of Saturday’s trip to Wycombe Wanderers. “First of all, we’re into the next round of the cup and that’s always a good thing.
“You can see these cup games in a number of different ways - you can see them as getting in the way or you can look at it as another great opportunity for the likes of David Kasumu, who came in and did brilliantly against AFC Wimbledon, and the players who just miss out on selection on the Saturday. It’s an opportunity to keep everyone hungry and playing.”
“I’ve been asked the question, how are you going to cope with all these players? It’s a high-quality problem to have.
"Last year when we got to January time and were hit by all those injuries, would I have wanted another player? Yes. If they’re all fit, is that a problem? Yes but it’s a better problem to have.
"We all benefit from the team doing well, no matter how big the squad is."
The addition of a second-round tie at Southend United means the Dons will play Saturday-Tuesday for the next three weeks - that’s seven games in the space of 21 days.
“It is what it is - we’ve got to play it,” Tisdale commented when asked about the fixture congestion. “We have to prepare by having a good squad, which I think we’ve done.
“That said, it does put a physical strain on players because they haven’t quite got into that flow of being tired but robust and strong. Players are still at a fragile moment no matter how good your pre-season is.”
MK Dons will travel to Roots Hall to face Southend United on Tuesday 27 August, when they will go head-to-head with their Sky Bet League One rivals for a place in the third round. Kick-off is at 7.45pm.
Ticket details for the Round Two tie will be confirmed in due course.