Putting pain and heartbreak to good use

Paul Tisdale
Paul Tisdale

It’s time for all the talking to stop and for broken hearts to be mended as MK Dons stand on the brink of a new league campaign.

Suffering two relegations in three years has taken its toll all over the club, with too many heartbreaks to speak of on and off the field.

Captain Dean Lewington in action against Oxford United

Captain Dean Lewington in action against Oxford United

It’s a similar story for new manager Paul Tisdale, who arrived at the club just days after his second consecutive League 2 Play-Off Final defeat with Exeter City - the club he spent 12 years with.

Almost an entirely new playing squad has been put together by Tisdale , though the primary concern is, once again, Dons’ ability to score goals.

With Chuks Aneke, Osman Sow and Sam Nombe not fit for the start of the season, Dons will be relying heavily on Kieran Agard to fire them towards the sharp end of the table in a hectic opening month of the campaign.

Agard scored just eight goals in 47 appearances last season, and his return will have to be considerably higher if he is to Dons’ leading man.

Alex Gilbey has been eased back into action during pre-season

Alex Gilbey has been eased back into action during pre-season

In bolstering the back line this week, Tisdale now has recognised cover for Jordan Moore-Taylor and Joe Walsh, who is unlikely to be ready to play competitive football, having been sidelined since January.

It will be a similar story for Alex Gilbey, who has made a remarkable return after knee surgery but will not be ready for first team action despite getting vital minutes recent friendly games.

Tisdale’s key line throughout the summer has been about turning around the negativity at Stadium MK after suffering as they all have since 2016.

And with the first game of the season away at Oldham Athletic on Saturday, Dons and indeed Tisdale will be looking to put their recent pain behind them.