Gilbey and Healey will not be rushed back

Rhys Healey and Alex Gilbey
Rhys Healey and Alex Gilbey

Despite both being handed their first starts in months, Paul Tisdale will not be hurrying back Alex Gilbey and Rhys Healey.

Gilbey's return from an ankle injury has seen him largely sidelined since March, with four substitute appearances this season before getting the nod in the 4-1 win over Southend on Tuesday night.

Healey came off the bench to net the winner against Shrewsbury in Dons' first game of the season, but like Gilbey had to wait until Tuesday before he got his first start since signing from Cardiff City.

Healey went on to play a little over an hour at Roots Hall and opened, while Gilbey saw out the 90 minutes for the first time in nearly five months.

Manager Tisdale though admitted he is having to withhold his excitement at having the duo at his disposal again.

"I will temper my enthusiasm by saying it's the first starts, but they're getting closer," he said. "They both contributed and they played at the right tempo.

"We weren't planning on 90 minutes for Alex, and it was a very long final 15 minutes for him! Rhys Healey seemed to blow a gasket on the hour mark. He plays as he does, he gives everything and doesn't pace himself. As a manager it's a good thing, and it's good for him – 60 minutes, a goal and a first start.

"It's the first 90 minutes Alex has played since March, and the first start for Rhys since I don't know when."