Patient approach for Tisdale as Dons return to training

Paul Tisdale
Paul Tisdale

Dons boss Paul Tisdale won't be rushing his squad during pre-season, insisting he wants them ready in five weeks, not next week.

The players returned to training on grass on Friday after a series of fitness tests at Stadium MK during the week, with the new manager casting his eye over his new team.

Dons' first pre-season friendly of the season is penned in for Saturday July 7 - a week away - but it looks likely a youth team will represent the club at Willen Road and indeed at St Neots three days later, as Tisdale looks to get his squad fit for the new campaign which kicks off at Oldham on August 4.

"We don't want to run before we can walk," said Tisdale after Friday's session. "We want to be fit in five weeks, not next week. We have to do it sensibly, and I won't be making any judgements on performances yet. We want to keep the injury room empty and we'll do that by being sensible.

"It has only been a couple of days really, so we'e at the starting point and I haven't got all the answers yet! It's a fresh start for everyone, and hopefully they can all enjoy being back in, being back as a team.

"There is so much going on in the off-season, you can forget that everyone, all the coaches, got here because we enjoy the game of football. Instantly, you see the players were enjoying themselves. It signifies the start of the process. We all know we've got the next five weeks to get ready.

"The players will have been wondering what I'm like, and they got a small insight into that today. It's just where we want to be - playing football. If we're engaged and productive from Monday to Friday, we'll be an effective team on Saturday."