A new Cisse emerges from last season's rubble
Ouss Cisse is like Marmite - you either love him or you hate him, but this week, no-one can argue against him.
An absolute unknown quantity after arriving 12 months ago, the Mali international was maligned for his performances last season, looking completely out of sorts and indeed place on a football pitch. Sometimes, it was hard to hard to differentiate between the chants of his name and the boos.
But scoring a later winner against Bury and a stand-out performance against Charlton three day later and Cisse is the talk of MK Dons once again.
Left out of the starting line-up for the final two pre-season friendlies and for the first two league games, Cisse’s appearance against the Shakers as a substitute with the game at 0-0 prompted more groans than cheers.
But what they saw was a new, energetic, eager Cisse. Chasing down every ball, throwing himself into tackles, a box-to-box man Dons had been crying out for last season. He changed the game and gave Dons more life, and getting on the end of George Williams’ late cross was his reward for a fine half-hour.
“I have to show, everyone, the gaffer and my team-mates that I should start,” he said afterwards. “When I come on, I have to do my best, and today I scored so I’m happy about that.
“I was not happy not starting, but the gaffer told me at half time I would be coming on, and I wanted to give my best for the team, and I did.”
His start on Tuesday was deserved, and his performance was more of the same. In a game with weak opposition, players vying for a starting place still had to impress, and Cisse ran the show.
He left nothing behind, hobbling off at the end with cramp in the 3-0 trot past Charlton in the Carabao Cup, and in doing so, has given his manager yet another consideration heading to Crewe at the weekend.
“He was excellent,” said Tisdale. “It was confidence, and there was an element of vitality to his game.
“He was so enthusiastic about it. I was really pleased because when you ask someone to do what they’re not used to, he was a great compliment to the team.”
Consistency has always been the issue for Cisse though, but if he can continue his form into Saturday, he will make himself undroppable.