Dons' problems worsen as the cries of discontent grow louder

Paul Tisdale
Paul Tisdale

There are few places to hide at MK Dons at the moment. Low on confidence, low on goals and low on points, the team are on course for a second League One relegation scrap in as many attempts.

Tuesday night’s 2-0 defeat away at Rochdale was not one to remember for several reasons.

All confidence picked up in the promising 0-0 draw with Coventry on Saturday was obliterated in just two minutes when Callum Camps’ rasping effort gave Dale the lead.

Even after the home side missed several excellent efforts, Callum Brittain’s radar summed up Dons’ torrid recent run as he fired wide, over and then had one cleared off the line before the break.

A change in tack in the second half brought little difference, and when Ian Henderson headed home Rochdale’s second on the hour, it was curtains for Paul Tisdale’s ailing side.

The stats cannot brush over what has been a catastrophic month. A day shy of three years since Karl Robinson was sacked, Dons find themselves 18th in League One - bizarrely climbing the table despite losing at the Crown Oil Arena - having picked up just a point from a possible 21. It’s relegation form, and comfortably the worst in the division. The fans too are beginning to lose faith.

Adapting to life in the third tier has been much harder for Tisdale and Co than anyone could have imagined, but the problems they are facing have no quick and easy fix.

Dons have not scored a goal in four outings, have not led a league game since September 14 and have kept just one clean sheet in that time too.

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There is no denying that pressure has to be mounting on Tisdale. Despite leading his side to promotion, some quarters have even questioned the merits of that, scraping over the line on the last day of the season after a patchy run-in.

But Tisdale has not been able to pick his first-choice side for nearly a year, with long-term injury after long-term injury hampering his true vision from being seen.

Even he had to admit on Tuesday night though that Dons were in desperate need of a reset, of starting again, to try and escape their drastic form.

The question now though is how long he will be given to turn things around before the chimes of discontent become too loud to ignore.