Paul Tisdale believes Saturday’s heavy defeat was a real lesson for his MK Dons side but insists the team won’t make knee-jerk reactions and, instead, take a pragmatic approach to improving.
The Dons, who had won both of their opening home matches, were beaten 4-0 by Peterborough United at Stadium MK, in a game where most of the damage was done inside the opening 35 minutes – Posh racing out to a three-goal lead before half-time.
Speaking afterwards to the media, Tisdale expressed his disappointment at the result and the performance, and also looked ahead to how his team can bounce back from such a loss.
“It’s a lesson for us in all sorts of respects,” he told the media. “It’s a lesson in terms of League One and where we are, and also how we have to play to be ourselves, which we weren’t today against a team who played really well – and that’s what happens.
“Before we look at the details of how we played, it comes down to how we approach the game and how we apply ourselves – I don’t mean whether we try hard or not because we try 100% every game, but it’s about how we apply ourselves to play our way and we were way off that today, way off it.
“There was so much wrong. I’ve been in these situations before and usually the answer is somewhere unrelated to the game. It’s not about Tuesday night or the shape or the system today. There’s a point somewhere else where we need to go back to and start again.
“Today may be a blessing disguise, in that respect. Maybe losing closely wouldn’t have done that and maybe this is something we needed.
“The conventional way, I suppose, is to punish everyone but I don’t know if that’s the best way. Without getting too miserable about, we haven’t had too many days like this, and therefore I have to be very pragmatic about it.
“That said, I’m not shifting blame off the players, they should have done a lot better today. I’m disappointed in many aspects of it and I’ve got to think about those.”
He continued: “We’re going to be judged on what we do next. I feel absolutely miserable about the afternoon but I’ve also been here before and I know this is something we’ve got to through objectively and in a considered way.
“If I think [wholesale] change is what I need to do, then I will but I’m not sure it was we need.
“We need to think about what we’re going to be moving forward – whether we win the next match or not, it’s about being a better team over the next dozen or so games in League One.
“We need to look at how we are going to be at our best for the next 40-odd games and start from there.”
Two positives for Tisdale on Saturday were the second-half introductions of Rhys Healey and Brennan Dickenson, who are both making their way back to full match fitness.
Healey played the entire second half while Dickenson looked bright in his 15-minute cameo.
Tisdale said: “[Rhys] did pretty well. The sooner we can get him ready, the better and playing 45 minutes today will help towards that.
“[Brennan] is a player that hasn’t played yet and I wanted to see how he did.”