Going top means 'diddly-squat' to Paul Tisdale

Paul Tisdale and Matt Oakley
Paul Tisdale and Matt Oakley

His MK Dons side may have just taken over at the top of League 2, but it means nothing to manager Paul Tisdale.

Chuks Aneke and Kieran Agard found the net again for Dons in the 2-0 win over Macclesfield Town on Saturday to leap-frog Lincoln City and take over at the summit.

But the Dons boss cited a result at Carlisle two years who while he was in charge of Exeter City to highlight the futility of being top in November, adding the table means nothing at the moment.

"I used a word in the dressing room – 'diddly squat' – that's what I told the players," he said. "It means nothing at the moment. We're 18 games in, it's a 46 game season. Today was about three points, marching on to the next game.

"I remember two years ago going to Carlisle in November, losing to go second bottom and Carlisle went top. By the end, we beat them in the play-offs.

"We're only in November. We need to resist the temptation to feel good about ourselves. Feel good about the three points, look at what could have gone wrong, and make sure they don't go wrong in the future."

Dons had to be patient against bottom club Macclesfield, waiting until the second half before Aneke scored a brilliant opener. Agard's fourth in four came 12 minutes later to make sure of top spot, but Tisdale said the visitors' stout defending was bound to come at some stage.

He said: "I think we should give them credit- they had defensive purpose, and they had clarity, but they wanted to break forwards and score. One thing that works in football is clarity.

"At half time, we didn't talk about changing anything to make it more sexy, but to keep doing the right things, think about the clean sheet, our defensive duties, and how we were going to score, and get forwards. If we lost it, we knew we'd lose the ball in a relatively safe area. Eventually, we got our goal.

"We knew today wouldn't be a walk in the park. Macclesfield has a real purpose, but we always knew it would be about the second half and that hour mark. There's only so long a team can hold that focus. That crucial first goal would be key. We didn't want to shoot ourselves in the foot, so to win I'm really pleased."