Paul Tisdale insists MK Dons aren’t using their defensive injury woes as an excuse, even if it has prevented his side from being able to build on their pre-Christmas form.
The Dons enjoyed their best form of the season between October and November - a time where their team remained relatively healthy - but since then, Tisdale has seen a number of his defenders spend time on the sidelines and he could be without at least four of those this weekend against Yeovil Town.
“There is a correlation, over a period of time, between continuity and good performances,” Paul Tisdale said in his pre-match press conference ahead of this weekend’s encounter with the Glovers.
“We had a long period where we had very few injuries in that defensive position and you could see what happened with our results. Since then, we’ve not known from one month to the next what defenders we have available.
“It’s been a shame that we’ve not been able to take a lot of our play from before Christmas time and build on it. We’ve had to just worry about putting a team on the pitch which is competitive.
“It’s not an excuse and we’ll never use it in discussions about what will affect our performance. One thing we have here is strength in depth. We have a deep enough squad to cover it - only just, mind you!
“Other teams will have problems, as well. If we’ve got problems, so will other teams. They’ll have lack of clarity in certain areas like we will.
“So, yes, we’ve been held back a little bit in terms of not being able to develop as much as we have wanted but we’re still competitive and we’ve still got a good chance [of success].”
The Dons saw two players added to the injury list last weekend with both David Wheeler and Baily Cargill forced off either side of half-time during the 1-1 draw with Stevenage. Tis provided the following update on the pair.
“It was a painful one [for Wheeler]. It could keep him out of the game - he’s not trained all week. He’s been able to run around but he took a very nasty thump to his face so we’ve got a duty to make sure a follow-up thump wouldn’t cause any damage.
“One of the many things Simon Crampton and the medical staff need to do is decide if he’s available to play but also, if it’s the right thing for him. David is a tough character and he’s got a lot of resolve so he’ll want to be involved - I’m hoping he will be.
“It’s an odd one with Baily. We’ve had a gut-full of centre backs suffering unusual injuries and this is another one - he’s jumped up, landed and he’s hurt something in his ankle.
“He’s making progress but will he make Saturday? Because we’ve got so few defenders fit, I’m keeping the door open for all of them. I can’t afford to make any decisions early. With Baily, I’ll be waiting until the last minute.”