Boateng demands more from himself after Dons move

Hiram Boateng
Hiram Boateng

Hiram Boateng and Paul Tisdale are on the same page about one thing - they both expect more from the midfielder.

The 23-year-old midfielder signed from Exeter City, Tisdale's former club, in the summer and immediately sought a spot in the centre of the park for much of the pre-season campaign.

Boateng admits his performances have been hot and cold

Boateng admits his performances have been hot and cold

Described as an attacking player, Boateng has scored just one goal so far this season - in the 4-1 win over Southend in the Carabao Cup in August. Since then, Boateng has been in and out of the side, but has racked up the most appearances - 14 alongside Russell Martin - of any Dons player.

By his own admission, Boateng's performances have been sporadic so far, and he spoke honestly about his start at MK Dons, admitting he should be doing more to contribute.

"I'd say I've had some good games, some better than others," he said. "I'm adjusting to a new style of play, getting used to the team. I've still got a lot more to offer and to bring to the side.

"It's down to me to get myself playing at a level where I'm consistently in the team, and it will allow me to showcase what I can bring to the team.

Boateng has made 14 appearances in midfield

Boateng has made 14 appearances in midfield

"One thing that has stood out here is that there is a good core group of players who did well here last season. They set the standard and set the tone for how the team wants to play. There are expectations."

And his thoughts are echoed by his manager, who believes there is a lot more to come.

Tisdale said: "He has shown already why I was keen to sign him but he is yet to do it consistently to a level where he is settled. It's to be expected – dropping into a new team, the nuances of developing new connections on the pitch throw up a lack of clarity sometimes. He will settle in though, I'll see to it it does happen.

"I'm fully behind him, and he's shown some really exciting glimpses to show everyone, and most importantly himself, that;s why we wanted him. He'll be a big part of what we do. He's close enough to be in and out every week.

"I would have wanted him to hit the ground running, but he has been unsettled potentially, but the team has been unsettled too.

"I'm happy with what he has done, I'm confident of more to come. He's a good chap, he wants to do well and he's made of the right stuff."

Dons have made an indifferent start to life back in League One - their inconsistent form has seen them lose their last three in the division, sitting 15th with 12 points after 10 games.

With goals hard to come by amid an injury crisis at the top end of the pitch, Boateng says the team is not hitting the panic button yet. Instead, he says their problems need to be sorted at the back and conceding goals, before fixing problems further up the field.

"We've got a lot of experienced players in the team who know that the league position at this time doesn't matter. But it's important to get rid of the underlying issues – conceding loads of goals in games. We need to get that sorted first, and then building the team to work to create more opportunities for the strikers.

"There have been games we have won where the standard could have been better, and the performances could have been better. If we continue thinking that way, and thinking we can always improve, whether it's negative or positive, that's a good step."