An MK Dons development squad will give manager Robbie Neilson an even better chance of fighting for promotion to the Championship, according to Edu Rubio.
The Spaniard will lead the new squad, stepping away from his role in the academy to concentrate on the bridge between the U18s and the first team.
Neilson will have the overall say over who plays, but Rubio believes it will also be an ideal place for younger members of the squad to highlight their potential in front of the manager.
“The club now has realised that we need to bridge the gap between the academy and the first team, especially if we need to get back into the Championship,” said Rubio, who has his sights set on first team management one day.
“We’re going to have a more established and organised development squad, which will be in between the U18s and the first team.
“That gives Robbie the chance to nick any players he wants, giving them more exposure, and more of a chance to get into the first team.
“We will operate more like a reserve team. We will have the advantage of having a few first team players picked by Robbie. He wants players who aren’t afraid to make mistakes, but play MK Dons way and know how to win games. We’ve got a job to do, and his job in the first team is to win promotion.
“It will be an interesting mix. If the gaffer comes to me and says he wants to play seven of his first team players, there won’t be as many chances for the U18s to get involved.
“If you want to be a first team with young players on the bench, players from your own community, it is crucial.
“This squad will help the club operate they wants the first team to operate.”