Dons have their pieces in place for the rest of the season

January transfer windows are always a thorn in the side for football clubs, but MK Dons can be quietly pleased with their work this month.

Thursday, 31st January 2019, 10:57 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 10:01 pm
Jake Hesketh

It is no secret their aim was to bolster the front line, but two of their primary targets will not begin February at Stadium MK. While they were interested in Exeter striker Jayden Stockley, the lure of Championship football proved too much as the 25-year-old moved to Preston North-End. And with the devastating events unfolding at Cardiff City over the last 10 days, a deal to re-sign Rhys Healey could never realistically come to fruition.

Given the circumstances though, Tisdale did manage to sign hotly tipped striker Ste Walker from Middlesbrough on deadline day, while David Wheeler (QPR) and Jake Hesketh (Southampton) will aid the route to goal. And with injury problems in the back line, Russel Martin (Walsall) was first through the door.

Outward bound were Aidan Nesbitt and Wieger Sietsma, who barely caused a ripple on the landscape, while Tisdale had high hopes for Peter Pawlett, but the 27-year-old simply could not stay fit for long enough to be considered a genuine first team contender - making just seven appearances all season. Somewhat surprisingly though was the lack of movement for Chuks Aneke, after being subject to much attention in August.

Russell Martin was Dons' first signing

The January window is often considered a month to troubleshoot and quick-fix, and Tisdale said the window was as difficult as he has experienced.

He said: "It is the first transfer window at the club, and it is the most erratic and difficult since my first one at Exeter 12 years ago. After that, you get a rein on the situation. You're having to weigh up a lot of variables which, in time, I'll have more of a control over."

The proof will always be in the pudding, and Dons, like everyone else, will now have all their pieces in place to found their final challenge for promotion back to League 1. And as Tisdale regularly says, no signing will be a good signing until that players has done well and performed as hoped.

David Wheeler joined from QPR
Middlesbrough striker Ste Walker was Dons' fourth signing