Paul Tisdale takes over as MK Dons manager

Paul Tisdale in the MK Dons dugout as manager
Paul Tisdale in the MK Dons dugout as manager

Paul Tisdale has been named MK Dons manager.

The 45-year-old left Exeter City after 12 years last week, taking over the reigns at Stadium MK on Wednesday evening.

Handed a rolling contract by chairman Pete Winkelman, Tisdale takes over after the club sunk to League 2 last season, with both Robbie Neilson and Dan Micciche axed from the Dons dugout.

Tisdale, who just 10 days ago suffered a heartbreaking defeat in the League 2 Playoff Final against Coventry, left Exeter with a heavy heart, but admitted he is ready for a new challenge.

"It was an easy decision after the first meeting," he said. "It was a job I felt I was perfect for, but it was attainable and exciting.

"It has been an odd week. Unless you've experienced it, let me tell you losing two playoff finals back-to-back is pretty traumatic. For all these things to happen in the next seven days, I had to ask people for help. I asked my family, my wife, confidantes, mentors - I asked for advice. You need people in your life to encourage you. I was sleep deprived, tired, stressed but this was obvious. I trusted the views of those people and I feel invigorated again.

"I'm very excited. It's a great challenge to start here with bags of potential. We need a refresh on and off the pitch. The environment, culture, the brand can all be affected by the manager and what happens on the pitch."

Winkelman said he was delighted to have landed Tisdale, having had eyes for him in previous managerial searches before.

He said: "The last 12 months have been really hard but the smile is back on my face. Paul has been in my mind throughout the whole process and the last few years. It didn't feel right at the time, so when we reached a time when I knew we were going down, there was only one man I wanted to get. But we couldn't do anything about it - we have a great respect for Exeter City and they were still in the middle of their season.

"As hard as it was, I had to sit on my hands and pace the room and hope the opportunity we had to offer was big enough for Paul's calibre. It has all come together quickly in the last few days, and we had to wait that little bit longer but it is absolutely worth the wait."