MK Dons boss Tisdale boosted by Reeves return but knows player must be used 'sparingly'

Ben Reeves
Ben Reeves

Boss Paul Tisdale was delighted to see Ben Reeves make his return from a long-term injury at the weekend - but quickly warned MK Dons supporters the attacking midfielder will have be 'used sparingly' and is still some way off starting games.

Signed from Charlton Athletic in the summer, Reeves was injured in training the week after making his debut in an 18-minute cameo as a substitute in the 1-0 win over Shrewsbury Town on August 10.

That led to a two-month absence from first team action, which finally came to an end at Bristol Rovers on Saturday when Reeves was brought on to replace Hiram Boateng in the 65th minutes.

Reeves, in his second spell at Stadium MK, added a much-needed creative edge, but it wasn't enough as MK Dons were beaten 1-0 to slump to their fifth successive Sky Bet League One defeat.

As soon as Reeves got on the pitch all the play went through him, but Tisdale bristled when asked if his team looked to pass the ball more as soon as the 27-year-old entered the fray.

"I am not sure it's the side wanting to play more football, I think it's the fact that players make things happen, and I think it's as simple as that," said the Dons boss.

"You saw the difference Ben had on the game, and I don't think we made a conscious decision across the team 'oh let's now try harder and play more football', it's players that make things happen."

But he added: "Ben was a really bright spark, but I don't think he's anywhere near starting a game yet, as he has missed so much football and has only been back in training a week.

"We are going to have to use him sparingly, but what a difference he made when he came on.

"He made a difference, and I thought Brennan Dickenson did really well when he came on as well."

Tisdale is struggling to come to terms with the club's current injury issues, and admits the team is now suffering from a 'snowball effect' as the longer their losing run goes on.

Dons are back in action on Saturday when they host Coventry City, and the Dons boss is hoping the team's luck changes.

"I feel for the boys as they are trying really hard, but suddenly it is a snowball effect and we have to try and stop it," said Tisdale.

"We have to get something to go our way and then build on that, and it didn't happen on Saturday so now we look to the weekend and we will try our best then.