DEAN Lewington is about as good a captain as any club could wish for – but he’s determined to lead a side playing Championship football rather than League 1 next season.
With over 300 appearances to his name, the 27-year-old is coming to the end of his fourth season as MK Dons skipper, and can say he’s been there, seen it and done it more than anyone else in the squad when it comes to play-off campaigns.
He’s yet to taste success though, and is determined to make it third time lucky in League 1, having been at the forefront of Dons’ previous semi final defeats to Peterborough and Scunthrope.
First Huddersfield Town stand in their way of a trip to Wembley later this month, and Lewington says his team-mates know what to expect from the tie.
“The fact that we’ve got quite a lot of players from last year still here is a good thing. They have obviously been through it all as well, so it’s not just me. There are seven or eight of us who have been there,” he said.
“It’s not been a nice experience, but an experience none the less and we want to learn from our mistakes.
“We’re definitely due a bit of luck. In the first leg just year we had two bad calls. But our focus this season is to move away from that and try to play as well as we can.
“We want to do everything in our power, and hopefully we won’t need any luck. Although if there is luck to be had then it would be nice if it was in our favour!”
Dons have been sat in the play-off places for virtually the whole season and Lewington says he and his Dons team-mates are chomping at the bit to finally get out there and push for promotion, with the first leg coming at stadium:mk on Saturday, before the return game in Huddersfield on Tuesday night.
“I’m glad the play-offs are finally here,” he said. “For the last couple of weeks we’ve known what was ahead of us and since then it’s been a case of trying to stay fit and healthy, and now we can look forward to a really big game.
“We’re very comfortable away. In fact it might work better for us given the way we play. We won’t lose any sleep over it.”
Whatever happens in the two legs against the Terriers, Lewington says he is proud of the team’s efforts this season, and think it’s been probably their greatest achievement since the club became MK Dons.
“I’m very proud of what we have already achieved,” he said. “I think it’s easy to forget about how well we’ve already done. Fifth place is a fantastic achievement. I think our budget is in the second half of the league in terms of what we spend.
“I’m proud to be captain and very proud of the way we’ve played this season. It’s been some of the best football we’ve ever played here. We have scored some fantastic goals and I couldn’t be more proud.”