'Overcooked' Dons ready for their first game

Paul Tisdale
Paul Tisdale

He admits he doesn't know whether an extra week of preparation will have helped or hindered Dons, but Paul Tisdale says they are more than ready to start the season now.

After their game with Bury was suspended, Dons were left with a watching brief last weekend as the rest of League 1 got underway.

Dons take on Shrewsbury at Stadium MK on Saturday, and Tisdale says he cannot predict yet whether having another week without a game will work in their favour or not.

"We feel a little overcooked waiting for the game," he said. "We will have to look at it with hindsight – if we have a good August, it will have helped us, if we don't, we'll say it hindered us.

"The first game is different because you have so long to wait for it, you have five or six weeks to plan. After the first game, it's off the cuff, it's one after another. You win, lose, react, get injuries, so that first game is the anomaly.

READ MORE: Dons squad numbers for the 2019/2020 League 1 seasons
"We're well versed in reacting to something, or having a few days to organise. To be now playing our first game is no problem. We like that it's at home, which is nice. The players are certainly ready to go, and we're looking to get a win but we're taking nothing for granted."

Russell Martin

Russell Martin

Defender Russell Martin said the players were frustrated not to kick off the season alongside the rest, adding: "We just want to get started now, last week was an anticlimax. When you build to something for so long and then it's taken away it takes it's toll. This week has been really good. We had a few in-house games and practice matches, so everyone is ready physically and more than ready mentally."

READ MORE: Top-flight deadline day will open up more opportunities for 'attractive' Dons
Martin, who played in League 1 last season for Walsall before making the switch to Dons in January said the differences between League 1 and League 2 should work in Dons' favour.

He said: "The top end of League 2 was not too dissimilar to the midtable of League 1. There are some really big teams in there, organised, structured, which should suit us better. A lot of teams in League 2 would see what we did and react off it. In League 1, I think teams will be much more pro-active early, especially away from home.

"We might have to adapt more at times rather than having us dictating games. Teams probably won't be playing to avoid defeat. It will be interesting, it will be good and we're all looking forward to it."

And though Dons are the new kids on the block when it comes to League 1, Martin does not believe the club will be allowing a season to pass them by to consolidate their position in the division.

"We can't think like that, play safe and think we're doing OK in midtable," he said. "We want to come in and make an impact, and be competitive in every game. We can't come up and think it's ok to settle. We've got momentum, we've got a good squad, belief, and we'll see where it takes us."

READ MORE: Tisdale wants to see Dons in the play-off mix