New manager vows to make MK Dons competitive again
If Paul Tisdale can turn out an MK Dons team that is half as stylish as his dress sense, it won’t be long before they start wowing the crowds in the higher echelons of the Football League once again, writes Jon Boyle.
The 45-year-old was the second longest serving manager in English football – behind only Arsene Wenger – when he left Exeter City after 12 years to take over as manager at Stadium MK.
The move came just days after Exeter had lost in the League 2 play-off final for the second successive year.
Tisdale replaced Dan Micciche in the Dons’ hot-seat after a disastrous season that saw them relegated to the basement division of the Football League.
But if there is one man that can put the swagger back into the Dons and make them competitive once again, it is the sharply-dressed Tisdale, who knows League 2 like the back of his wardrobe.
“I felt it was time for a new challenge and I’m very excited to be here in Milton Keynes,“ he said. “I want to create a positive environment for the players to start performing well again and for everyone to start enjoying coming into work.
“My challenge is to meet that target early on in the season and to create a winning mentality again. “There is no doubt the potential here is huge but my priority is for us to be competitive in League 2 from the first game in August.”
Tisdale has signed a long term rolling contract – but is he set for another mammoth reign after more than a
decade in Devon?
“Who knows?” he said. “I certainly wouldn’t start off any managerial position without thinking long term.
“I’m constantly thinking about development – whether it’s the players, the culture, the environment or the support teams, and then trying to win the next game.
“Lots of small, sensible decisions over a period of time will hopefully get the wheels turning forward.
“I had wonderful times at Exeter and I’m looking to create wonderful times here at MK.”
Dons chairman Pete Winkelman bided his time to secure Tisdale, and he knows the Malta-born boss was worth the wait.
Winkelman said: “It’s been a really hard 12 months but the smile is back on my face and the bounce is back in the way we walk.
“I’m hugely proud to have Paul as our manager – when it reached the point that I knew we were going down he was the only man I wanted to get.”
Whatever happens next, Tisdale certainly looks – and sounds – the part.