Defeat at Sincil Bank still riles Tisdale

Paul Tisdale
Paul Tisdale

It was nearly six months ago, but Dons' first defeat of the season is still a bone of contention for Paul Tisdale.

Jason Shackell's stoppage time winner for Lincoln City saw Dons' undefeated start to the League 2 season end at the eighth hurdle, while they also fell to 13th in the table as the Imps looked to stretch their legs out in front.

Since then, Dons have been in and around the promotion mix, while Danny Cowley's side have been setting the pace for the most part at the top of the table.

"We should have done better," said Tisdale as his side prepare for table-top clash between the teams on Saturday. "At the time, we were on a good run of games undefeated. It's a long time ago but I will always look back on games where we should have focused more, or been more vigilant, or had more attention to detail. That was one of them.

"It was a long time ago, I think we're a different team. But it's one of those things. The players will do their best. We have looked at that game, but there is a lot more areas we're looking at. Both teams will be doing their homework."

Lincoln's win was their only triumph over Dons in seven meetings down the years, with their sole visit to Stadium MK coming in October 2007, where two Leon Knight goals helped Dons to a 4-0 win.

Dons head into the game eight points adrift of Lincoln, but a win will see them slice the gap to five points with five games remaining. The manager admits though it will be a tough ask.

"We have to beat them, first," he said. "You can't help but do the maths yourself, but you can't get carried away. Lincoln will be doing the same maths as us.

"It's 95, 96 minutes, three points at stake and we both want it desperately. It will be a very good challenge, it will be very exciting. It's a big game.

"We're really looking forward to it. It has a mix of excitement and butterflies. We know how important it is. Lincoln are bringing a really good away following, so there will be some extra atmosphere, and there is so much at stake."