Paul Tisdale Announced as New MK Dons Manager

Paul Tisdale
EXETER, ENGLAND - MAY 17: Exeter City manager Paul Tisdale prior to the Sky Bet League Two Play Off Semi Final:Second Leg between Exeter City and Lincoln City at St James Park on May 17, 2018 in Exeter, England. (Photo by Chris Vaughan - CameraSport via Getty Images,)

Paul Tisdale has been appointed as the new manager of League Two side MK Dons. Tisdale has joined on a long-term rolling contract, similar to the one he was on at Exeter City. He will be joined at Stadium MK by Matt Oakley and Mel Gwinnett. They will be the assistant manager and first-team coach respectively.

Paul Tisdale Takes the Helm at MK Dons

It’s been a turbulent few seasons for the Buckinghamshire club. Following relegation from the Sky Bet Championship in the 2015/16 campaign, they parted company with the long-serving Karl Robinson part-way into their League One return and appointed Scotsman Robbie Neilson. Neilson stabilised the club momentarily, but he was also relieved of his duties partway through the 2017/18 season.

His replacement was former Dons academy coach Dan Micciche. Micciche failed to win any of his first five games in charge. However, got fans excited about avoiding the drop when the club won three games in a row in March, including a late away win over Gillingham.

Luck ran out for Micciche as well though, and with three games left of the season, he too departed the club. It’s a worrying trend for a club to have so many managers in a short space of time, especially as they were well-known for sticking by Karl Robinson in his six years in charge.

Career So Far

Paul Tisdale has only had two previous stints as a manager. However, his spell at Exeter lasted 12 years, where they achieved two promotions and numerous play-off campaigns.

Tisdale’s managerial career started after he was forced to retire from playing. He took a role at Team Bath, the University of Bath’s football team. He entered them into the 2002/03 FA Cup, meaning they became the first university team to enter the competition since 1881.

In 2006, then-Conference side Exeter City took notice of his achievements, and Tisdale took up the vacant manager’s position.

In 2008, Exeter extended their run without back-to-back defeats (including Conference) to 125 games, 120 of which were under Tisdale’s management.

The 2010/11 season saw Exeter claim their highest ever finish – eighth in League One.

Perhaps the biggest achievement during his time with the Grecians was the 2-2 FA Cup draw with Liverpool. Although Liverpool played a significantly weaker side, Tisdale was praised by pundits following the game for his astute tactics that identified weaknesses in the Liverpool defence.

The Comments

Speaking to mkdons.com, Tisdale said of his appointment: “When the owner contacted me we discussed the opportunity for a fresh approach, both on and off the pitch.

“We have a shared vision for the Club and want to build a unique environment and culture – one which will best enable the players to perform and become part of a winning football team.

“I am excited by the Club’s ambition and relish the challenge of guiding MK Dons to fulfil its undoubted potential.”

Speaking about his third managerial appointment since 2016, MK Dons chairman Pete Winkelman said: “Paul was our number one choice from the very start and although it has taken some time to become real, it is certainly worth the wait.

“Paul ticks every box for us and I am very much looking forward to working with him and his team, as we all look to bring back exciting times to Milton Keynes.”

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