Tisdale defends lack of substitutes after late Swindon equaliser

Matt Oakley and Paul Tisdale in discussion
Matt Oakley and Paul Tisdale in discussion

It's not often a manager goes a whole game without making any changes, but Paul Tisdale insisted not making a substitution against Swindon was not the reason for their last minute equaliser.

Elijah Adebayo lashed home in the 94th minute to cancel out Joe Walsh's fifth minute strike to share the spoils at the County Ground, maintaining Dons' unbeaten start to the campaign.

But coming under the cosh in the latter stages, despite forcing keeper Lawrence Vigouroux being by far the busier keeper, Tisdale kept his starting 11 on the field throughout.

Drawing criticism from some fans, Tisdale said making substitutes would have changed the dynamic of his side and it was not worth the risk.

"As a manager, you look at your bench with 20 minutes to go and seeing players who were tired on the field, but sometimes the players have to guts it out," he explained. "If I made a change, it might have put fresh legs on but the dynamic would have changed. Robbie Simpson was tired, but every time a corner came, he was the one heading it away. Sometimes, you have to play that card as a manager. They came so close.

"We had the conversation every minute for about half an hour. If you're not sure, do nothing. That's what it comes down to. We looked solid. There was nothing obvious but we were doing the right things. They scored with 30 second to go, but in that moment, if you're not sure, you do nothing."

Dons were second best in the opening 45 minutes despite taking the early lead, but came out and should have doubled their advantage early in the second period when Jordan Houghton thumped the bar and Jordan Moore-Taylor forced another save from Vigouroux.

Tisdale said: "We had several breaks through the midfield, sometimes we just didn't pick the right pass. We came very close two or three times.

"It's hard to pick fault really, we came close to picking up all three points. There's no-one individually I could be cross at – if I could find someone to be cross at I would, there's no-one I could find! We tried really hard, we got a point against a good team, we march on.

"On other days, you score three. We didn't quite execute our set-pieces well enough. But I loved our effort."