Tisdale must find a pattern in Dons' dismal run
They say a week is a long time in football, and the 11 weeks between the defeats to Grimsby Town have been a long slog for MK Dons.
Picking up just 13 points from a possible 33, Dons have dropped to sixth in League 2, now 12 points adrift of leaders Lincoln City. The tight nature of the division, even at this stage, shows while Dons' poor run of form has been matched there or thereabout by those around them, Dons' failure to capitalise on others suffering around them has severely dented their chances of a fairly routine run at the automatic promotions spots as they enter the latter half of the season.
Without a win away from home since November 3 - the week before their FA Cup clash with the Mariners - Dons have just one point on the road to their name now in almost three months, and even that came with a distinct sense of disappointment as they threw away a 2-0 lead in the final 12 minutes to draw with Northampton at Sixfields.
From a team which had only lost one league game prior to November, Dons have now lost seven times. Frustratingly for Paul Tisdale though, there appears to be no discernible pattern either. Saturday's loss to Grimsby was a stark contrast to the game at Bury. The Bury defeat was different to the Cheltenham loss, which showed little resemblance to the Colchester reverse.
In this barren run, Dons have played great football for periods of games - at Northampton, Bury and Stevenage - before switching off late in the day. They turned in their poorest show of the season on Boxing Day at Cheltenham but created enough chances to come away with at least a point, while failed to find the target enough against Crewe and Grimsby in the last week.
"Every game is different," said Tisdale after the second defeat at Blundell Park. "How I feel today is completely different to how I felt away at Northampton. I was very upset and angry with them that day, but I'm not upset and angry today.
"I've been very philosophical with the players. I need to get their minds on what we need to do and where our flaws are, and what we need to remember if we are to pull our results back. We've got good enough players and clarity to make things better.
"I'm trying to find a solution, and they're working hard. There's not one show of dissent, or a lack of focus. Every game is different but ultimately games are running out. We all know that. We have just got to do it now. I've been here before, I think we'll do it but we have to stay together."