After spending a quarter of the season on the sidelines with a broken foot, Stephen Gleeson is looking forward to a rest.
The midfielder rushed back from injury to help his side mount a late challenge for the play-offs after breaking his foot back in December.
But after some spectacular performances in the run-in, Gleeson is keen to rest his foot after a long season.
“Every footballer goes through probably 18 months of bad injuries, and I’ve had six long spells out. I’m still struggling with my foot, but it’s the first time I’m looking forward to having a long break.
“Hopefully, (Head of Sports Science and Fitness) Damien Doyle can let me lay off the foot for six weeks. I want to come back fully fit. At the moment, I’m just looking forward to the rest.”
His injury coincided with a knee problem suffered by Luke Chadwick. The pair were ruled out for several months just before Christmas. Without the pair, Dons won just one match in League 1, initiating their slide down the table and out of play-off contention.
Gleeson though says no-one will ever know how far Dons could have gone had they not been injured.
He said: “We can’t tell what would’ve happened if me and Luke (Chadwick) didn’t get injured when we did. I feel we have a squad good enough to compete, but at the time, we didn’t deal with injuries and suspensions well enough.
“I know the manager has taken the blame, but everyone has to look at this season and ask why it went wrong. I sit here now disappointed because I know we should be getting out of this league.
“The club is at a crossroads and we need to get out of the league sooner or later. We have a great stadium, the pitch is brilliant, one of the best in the league, our fans are brilliant - it needs to happen soon.
“In the next few years, the club will move on and I’ve no doubt that it’ll kick on from there.”