Football is an exceedingly small world sometimes and on Boxing Day Russell Martin will touch hands with our former boss Paul Tisdale as manager of Bristol Rovers, the guy that Russell succeeded, so I would imagine there will definitely be a competitive edge on the touchline for this one. Tisdale will want to prove a point and get one over his old team and Russell will want to show he was a worthy successor and the style of football he has brought to MK is superior to the cautious Tisdale style, and I suppose there will be one or two players that will fancy getting one over on Tis.
The last time we played Rovers was New Year’s Day 2020 during a period where RM had the team fired up and playing well and we came into this after putting Portsmouth to the sword 3-1 a few days before Christmas.
We won 3-0 that day with goals from Healey, Nombe and Agard, the result pulling us out of the relegation zone.
BRISTOL ROVERS THE SEASON SO FAR – Rovers are currently in 18th spot in the league table with a record of PLAYED 16, WON 5, DRAWN 4, LOST 7, GF 18 & GA 24 with 19 POINTS to their name.
LEAGUE FORM AT A GLANCE – LDLWW
BRISTOL ROVERS AWAY LEAGUE RESULTS 2020/21
CHARLTON v BRISTOL ROVERS (Postponed Covid)
AFCW 2 BRISTOL ROVERS 4
WIGAN 0 BRISTOL ROVERS 0
SWINDON 1 BRISTOL ROVERS 0
ROCHDALE 1 BRISTOL ROVERS 1
SHREWSBURY 0 BRISTOL ROVERS 1
LINCOLN 1 BRISTOL ROVERS 2
DONCASTER 4 BRISTOL ROVERS 1
SUNDERLAND 1 BRISTOL ROVERS 1
That’s an AWAY LEAGUE record of PLAYED 8, WON 3, DRAWN 3, LOST 2, GF 10 & GA 10.
YEAR OF FORMATION – 1883
CLUB NICKNAME – The Pirates, The Gas, Rovers.
HOME GROUND – The Memorial Stadium (12,296)
THE MANAGER – Former Dons Boss and Paul Smith clothes horse its Paul Robert Tisdale aged 47 and born in Valetta, Malta.
As a midfielder Tisdale was on the youth books with Bristol Rovers and Southampton, making his league debut for the Saints in 1991. He played for several teams seemingly without much success only managing 73 pro games in his career scoring 4 goals. Those teams included, Northampton Town, Huddersfield, Bristol City, Exeter City on three separate occasions, Dundee United, Finn PA in Finland, Panionios in Greece, and Yeovil Town.
As a manager he probably first came to notice because of the success of Team Bath in the FA Cup where he took over in 2001 staying to 2006 when he moved to Exeter City a club, he was to serve at for 12 years until we came knocking on the door. We had just been relegated to League 2 and Tisdale’s brief was to get us back into League 1 which he did in his first attempt, falling over the winning line in the final game of the season against Mansfield.
Tisdale was appointed on June 6th, 2018, and his contract was mutually terminated on November 2nd, 2019 following a 3-1 home defeat to Tranmere, and when I say following, I mean at about 5-10pm as Russell Martin was appointed before many of us had got home after the match. Tisdale’s departure marked the worst run in the club’s history, where the Dons gained only 1 point out of a possible 27.
He took over at Bristol Rovers on November 19th, 2020 after a year out of the game and he has quickly turned their fortunes His managerial stats are slightly above average showing a career WIN RATIO of 39%, although his ratio at the Dons was 42% and it leaps significantly again to 57% with Rovers.
His MK Dons record shows GAMES 73, WON 31, DRAWN 13, LOST 29.
His career stats in full are GAMES 706, WON 276, DRAWN 173, LOST 257.
FORMER MANAGERS – Formed in 1883 they never appointed a full-time manager until 1889 and then appointed Alfred Homer who managed the team for 21 years, they have subsequently had 33 managers, not including caretakers.
Other managers include Bill Dodgin Snr, Bobby Campbell, Terry Cooper, Bobby Gould, Gerry Francis, Malcolm Allison, Russell Osman, Ian Holloway, Ian Atkins, Paul Trollope, Paul Buckle and Mark McGhee.
FORMER PLAYERS – A few famous names like Ray Graydon, Ian Hamilton, Bobby Jones, Rickie Lambert, Gary Mabbutt, Nigel Martyn, and Tony Pullis.
MATCHDAY MASCOT – A frightening almost creepy looking pirate called Captain Gas.
FAMOUS FANS – Disgraced MP Jeffrey Archer imprisoned for perjury, and Rod Hull of Emu fame, and part time TV aerial repair man.
SHOOTERS BOOTS – Brandan Hanlan with 6 goals in 16 games.
PLAYED FOR BOTH – Chris Lines, Ed Upson, Scott Bevan, Mustapha Carayol, Jermaine Easter, Danny Woodards, Angelo Balanta, Dominic Blizzard, Tom Hitchcock, David McCracken, Lee Nicholls, Richie Partridge, Carl Regan, James Tunnicliffe, Elliot Ward, Mark Wright, and Jonson Clarke-Harris.
CURRENT INTERNET MATCH ODDS
MK DONS 5/7, DRAW 11/4 BRISTOL ROVERS 4/1
LAST TIME ROUND – Wednesday Jan 1st, 2020 – MK Dons 3 Bristol Rovers 0
Team – Nicholls, Brittain, Williams, Walsh, Lewington, Houghton, McGrandles (Reeves), Kasumu, Gilbey (Mason), Nombe, Healey (Agard).
Unused Subs – Poole, Cargill, Moore, Boateng
Goals – Healey 16’, Nombe 60’, Agard 84’.
Referee – Sam Purkiss (0 Yellows)
Attendance – 8,236
HEAD 2 HEAD
2019/20 – MK Dons 3 Bristol Rovers 0 (Healey, Nombe, Agard)
2019/20 – Bristol Rovers 1 MK Dons 0
2017/18 – MK Dons 0 Bristol Rovers 1
2017/18 – Bristol Rovers 2 MK Dons 0
2016/17 – Bristol Rovers 0 MK Dons 0
2016/17 – MK Dons 3 Bristol Rovers 3 (Bowditch, GB Williams, Reeves)
2010/11 – Bristol Rovers 1 MK Dons 2 (O’Hanlon, Powell)
2010/11 – MK Dons 2 Bristol Rovers 0 (Powell, Leven)
2009/10 – Bristol Rovers 1 MK Dons 0
2009/10 – MK Dons 2 Bristol Rovers 1 (Leven, Puncheon)
2008/09 – MK Dons 2 Bristol Rovers 1 (Gerba, Chadwick)
2008/09 – Bristol Rovers 1 MK Dons 2 (Wilbraham, Own Goal)
2006/07 – Bristol Rovers 1 MK Dons 1 (McGovern)
2006/07 – MK Dons 2 Bristol Rovers 0 (Dyer, Platt)