MK Dons appoint former Exeter boss Tisdale as manager

Paul Tisdale was in charge for 626 games at Exeter City and succeeded Arsene Wenger as the longest-serving manager in English football

MK Dons have appointed former Exeter City boss Paul Tisdale as their new manager on a “long-term deal”.

The 45-year-old succeeds Dan Micciche, who left in April after 16 games in charge, just before the club were relegated to League Two.

Tisdale was the longest-serving manager in the top four divisions before ending his 12-year tenure at Exeter last week.

He led the Grecians to the last two League Two play-off finals, but suffered defeat on both occasions.

Matt Oakley and Mel Gwinnett, who both worked with Tisdale at St James Park, have joined as assistant manager and first-team coach.

“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,” said chairman Pete Winkleman.

“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.”

Promotion experience

MK Dons will be only the second English Football League club Tisdale has managed, after the former Southampton player moved to Exeter in 2006 following seven seasons in charge of Team Bath.

He guided the university side to four promotions and led them to the FA Cup first round in 2002 – the first university team to achieve that feat since Oxford in 1880.

He then led Exeter to back-to-back promotions from the Conference to League One from 2008 and took them to four Wembley play-off finals – winning one.

He has a record of blooding young players who have gone on to make their name in higher leagues, such as Brentford striker Ollie Watkins and Chelsea defender Ethan Amapadum, who both recently left St James Park for fees well in excess of £1m.

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