In the search for the manager to revive our fortunes in late 2021, Boro’ turned to Paul Tisdale – a man not short on experience. To be fair, the man isn’t exactly short on style either; gaining a nice little reputation over the years for his matchday attire. Of course, being sharply dressed isn’t that all-important selling point that drew chairman Phil Wallace to him. Nope. Rather, it was Tisdale’s record at previous clubs and his ability to win promotions that had a large say. PW said at the time of his appointment: “We needed to bring EFL experience and a fresh start into our club, so Paul fits that perfectly… we have got a good squad of players and we are looking forward to Paul creating a winning environment.”
But it didn’t happen.
The initial signs were good and there seemed to be light at the end of an ever-gloomier tunnel we found ourselves going through. Alas, that light was an LNER service from London Kings Cross to Leeds or somewhere up north. Talk shifted to a busy January 2022 transfer window in which the chairman promised funds to spend. The transfer activity wasn’t quite inspiring; the results going into the new year even less so. Boro’ entered a state of freefall towards the relegation places and PW made his move in mid-March. Tisdale left us with little chance to improve our fortunes, but equally little sign of moving us in the right direction. Whether he should’ve been the fall guy is an entirely different matter.
Paul Tisdale: Before Boro’
So, what are the achievements that made Tisdale’s name in management. Most known perhaps is his time with Exeter City; hired in summer 2006 after leading Team Bath to four promotions in non-league football before that. With the Grecians, his Midas touch remained. In his first season, they made the playoffs – only for Morecambe to win on the day. But the wait for promotion back to the Football League for the Grecians was only extended by another season.
Tisdale actually led the Devon club into League One after securing back-to-back promotions. In the end, the Grecians eventually fell back down into League Two. And they were continually one of the promotion prospects; a tag backed up by their repeated showings in the playoffs. His time came to an end at Sid James’ park in 2018, however, after failing to agree a new contract. As the curtain came down, it meant the end of the reign of English football’s longest-serving boss.
His career after Exeter has been a little less stable, however. After leading MK Dons to promotion in his next role, a poor start to life in League One saw his contract ‘mutually terminated’. He then took charge at Bristol Rovers, but failed to replicate his promotion-winning success there. And in the latter stages of the 2020-1 season, Tisdale went to Colchester United in an advisory capacity as the Essex side battled to avoid the drop from League Two.