Tisdale sets the bar high for his MK Dons squad

MK Dons
MK Dons

MK Dons have only lost one game this season - and it irritates manager Paul Tisdale still.

Jason Shackell's 96th minute winner for Lincoln City - effectively the last action of the game at Sincil Bank on September 22 - is the only thing separating Dons and an undefeated season so far.

It's a stark contrast to the form which twice saw Dons lose six games in a row last season, which ultimately saw them relegated to League 2.

Saturday's crushing 4-0 win over Crawley Town saw three of Dons' strikers find the net, with the manager admitting afterwards his focus has changed of late, having shored up the defence to keep five clean sheets in seven games.

Two points behind Lincoln now, keeping Shackell out seven weeks ago would've seen Dons topping the table at this stage, a fact which irks Tisdale to this day.

"I'm really irritated by that loss at Lincoln, and that's the standard," he said. "It's early days, we're looking to improve all the time. I love the fact we're in a good position in the league, but we have to concentrate on the process, because it's that process that has got us to this stage so far."

Matt Oakley and Paul Tisdale

Matt Oakley and Paul Tisdale

Nine unbeaten in the league, with the strikers finding form and a stern defence, Tisdale still insists his side are far from the finished product.

He said: "You never finish – you're always trying to develop, and whenever you get close, something comes along to, something changes. A player gets injured, or the opposition change the way they play – it's about being adaptable. I don't think we ever get to that point, but we've made really good ground.

"We've done it in a strategic way, one step at a time. I've not tried to do everything in the first few weeks. It gives me confidence that the players take on-board what I ask, they apply it, we're getting the results, and it gives the whole environment a positive feel.

"Before we realise, we'll be talking about the final 10 games of the season, it will shoot past, and we want to be in the mix when it comes to those final games."