Conor McGrandles believes the battling performance at Boundary Park on the opening day of the 2018/19 season proved to many that the Dons were in for a season to remember.
Goals from Kieran Agard and Ryan Harley gave Paul Tisdale three points on his managerial debut with the Dons, however, that doesn’t tell the full story.
The Dons had to dig deep that day as they faced a number of injuries throughout the encounter.
Peter Pawlett suffered an ankle injury just seconds into the game and having been replaced by Robbie Simpson, the striker was then forced off with cramp in the second-half.
Elsewhere, Callum Brittain battled through the final minutes with cramp, while George Williams battled an illness that kept him up the night before.
Such was the story of the Dons season, they made no excuses for injury and carried on with the job at hand to pick up a vital win.
“It was a crazy game,” McGrandles told iFollow MK Dons. “I remember Simmo coming on after five-minutes and he had to be subbed off towards the end of the game.
“Pete Pawlett was injured in the first minute, I suffered my eye injury and Ouss had to play up front at some stage.
“It was one of the craziest games I’ve ever been involved in – that being said – at the end of the game everyone knew we had a proper team.”
During the dying embers of the clash in Greater Manchester, McGrandles suffered a horrific eye injury that led to him staying overnight in hospital before missing the next three months of the season.
Despite such a bad injury, McGrandles earned his place back in the side and played an integral part in the Dons promotion.
“I’m really thankful to Tis and the rest of the staff. They showed their faith in me to put me back into the side quite quickly after my injury, even if it was an unfamiliar position, he trusted me to do a job.
“I need to thank the Medical and Sports Science Department because they really looked after me, they made sure that when Tis was willing to put me back in – I was ready to go.
“I never thought after the Oldham game that I would be sitting here so happy at the end of the season. It was a really bad injury and it’s the worst thing I’ve had happen to me in terms of pain and being uncomfortable.
“Somehow, I managed to get back fit and managed to start playing again and get myself back in the team, I’m sitting here now, a full season later, and I can’t take the smile off my face.”