Tisdale was still hurting from his Exeter 'divorce' when accepting Dons' proposal

A 'frazzled' Paul Tisdale said he was still reeling from Exeter's play-off final defeat when he took over at MK DonsA 'frazzled' Paul Tisdale said he was still reeling from Exeter's play-off final defeat when he took over at MK Dons
A 'frazzled' Paul Tisdale said he was still reeling from Exeter's play-off final defeat when he took over at MK Dons | jpimedia
Thr former Dons boss admits he was still thinking about his old club Exeter when he took over at Stadium MK in summer 2018

The week between leaving Exeter City after 12 years and taking up the manager's hot seat at MK Dons was a bit of a blur for Paul Tisdale, he admitted.

Following the sacking of Dan Micciche in April 2018 after a humiliating 4-0 loss at Southend, Keith Millen guided Dons through the final few games of a vile League One campaign which ultimately ended in relegation. Heading into League Two though, Tisdale was the number one target for chairman Pete Winkelman.

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Having spent over a decade at St James Park, Tisdale had just suffered a second play-off final defeat with the Grecians and knew his time at the club was over. But within a week of that disappointment, he was sat at a table alongside Winkelman as the new MK Dons manager, but he admitted it was still with a heavy heart.

"There wasn't much thinking going on – it was a bizarre week," he told the EFL podcast. "I still can't really remember it. I asked Exeter for a week to think about whether I wanted to sign their new contract and was told 'no' because they had moved on. That's fair enough, it's their prerogative. They had decided to give the job to Matt (Taylor) and I was told I was not the manager there any more.

"If you've been married for 12 years, your wife cheats on you, and you try to reconcile, and then 18 months later it finishes, you're disturbed by the whole thing and emotionally just frazzled. Then your best friend comes up to you and tells you he's found you a new wife. You meet your new wife, you're still frazzled, but you're talking about the new relationship. The only catch is you've got to marry her in the next three days! You're then sat at your wedding, making a speech but you still can't stop thinking about the wife you left a few days earlier."

Far from being a rebound fling with Dons though, Tisdale said the project he faced heading to Stadium MK was a huge selling point when he was offered the job, and was one he felt he could thrive in.

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He said: "I really liked the idea of going to MK Dons, the project they had. I met Andrew Cullen, who is a really top chap, I could see myself working for him. So I just got stuck into the next thing.

"The attraction was the potential – it's the one thing Exeter didn't have. The attraction was where the club could go. I could bring with me my team, so I was going in already stocked with the tools I thought I needed to create the right environment. And I knew I could do it."