Fixture Release Day is an important date for everyone associated with MK Dons, including Paul Tisdale, although the manager’s reasons are likely different to that of the players and supporters.
The Dons discovered their 2019/20 Sky Bet League One schedule on Thursday morning, allowing fans to finally work out which away games they want to attend and which matches they will be watching on Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.
For Tisdale and his colleagues, however, Fixture Release Day provides them with the opportunity to put in motion their plans for travel arrangements - departure times, hotel stays and locations for training.
“We’ll look at that stuff, we’ll look at the first game, Christmas, New Year’s, Easter - all those things that the fans do - but this is a big day for us from a logistically point of view,” Tisdale said at the Club’s Fixture Breakfast which was held at Stadium MK on Thursday morning.
“The football match element of what we do, playing on a Saturday afternoon, is probably 10 percent of the job. Most of the work is managing logistics, strategy and organisation.
“We want to make sure that we get into the right hotel for each game, starting with the Bury game. We want to know what time we’ll have to leave, where we are going to train. We don’t want those problems on the day.
“A lot of work goes into the logistically side of things to ensure that the players can just turn up and concentrate on their training and the match.
“That means we, as a management team, spend our whole time making sure that nothing goes wrong. Hours and hours of discussions go into particular fixtures.
“Is it a school holiday which will mean we have to stay overnight? Is it a Tuesday night because then it might mean it’s not? There is a budget that comes into it too.
“The players will just get a message through on WhatsApp about where to be at the right time.
“We’re already prepared for which hotels we’ll be staying in and we’ll be on booking them this morning.”
MK Dons face a number of mouth-watering clashes in the 2019/20 season, including matches with AFC Wimbledon and Peterborough United as well as local rivals Oxford United and Wycombe Wanderers.
They are the dates that most supporters will have looked for right away when they saw the fixture list for the first time and Tisdale acknowledged that the first-team also make note.
“They do make a difference because we have to be aware of all the different dynamics of each fixture. We need to be aware of them and we need to be considered about them.
“We also have our own particular games. I have my own ‘rivals’ to speak in terms of coming up against managers that I know well. Those games bring a whole extra dimension too.
“We are aware of the rivalries and we are aware that we’ve got some really tasty matches for the Club.”