MK Dons burst into 2019 with a much-needed 6-0 thrashing of Cambridge on New Year's Day - much to the relief of Paul Tisdale.
After a sticky festive period, with two defeats and a squandered 2-0 lead to draw 2-2 at Northampton, Dons raced into a 3-0 lead after just 12 minutes before adding three more in the second period to complete the rout.
"We needed it didn't we," said Tisdale afterwards. "We've had a tough couple of weeks. It sets up the new year nicely. We wanted to see us, win lose or draw. We didn't see it at Cheltenham, we saw it at Northampton, I thought and we saw it again today. The performance got a resounding result. We conceded chances and they came close to scoring, but it was an attacking performance and I'm delighted.
"We weren't faultless by any means, and there's an argument to say we played better against Northampton, but on some days it goes your way. They hit the post, and we talked about it at half time and that was a reminder. They did it again straight after half time. But I looked at the players midway through the first half and we looked tired. But what a difference scoring goals makes. It takes the edge off the stress and cheers you up. It won't happen every week, but it reminds everyone we should back ourselves.
"We've got a 10 day break now – I'm looking forward to it because I'm knackered!"
Tisdale praised his backroom staff for their involvement in the victory after a difficult time over Christmas.
He said: "It's easy to look at Kieran and Rhys who have scored twice, and Osman who scored on his return, but I had a lot of help from the management team leading up to this game. Danny Butterfield was a huge help to the team talk today, and it's important they all get mentioned – Matt Oakley and Mel Gwinnett. It has been a really tough week or two for us, getting the team to bounce back.
"Everyone played a part today. It's only one game, three points, but it's nice."