HIS performances throughout November earned him a nomination for player of the month, but Jabo Ibehre is more concerned with coming out of the festive period with a sack full of points rather than presents.
The 28-year-old has chipped in with six league goals this season, and wants Dons to kick on as they enter the busy festive and new year period.
He said: “We’ve now got phase one out of the way, and we’re moving on to phase two of the season. It’s about pushing on.
“We’ve set our standards, and we need to match them and build on them and really go for it.
“It’s business time now – the season tends to come at you quicker after Christmas, there are a lot of games coming up and it’s time to really push on.”
His impressive spell in November has earned him plaudits throughout the league, but Ibehre insists that the players around him deserve as much of the praise that he has been given.
“I’m enjoying playing because the team is doing well,” he said. “It’s a great atmosphere, I’m in a role that I’m enjoying and I want to keep getting better and keep learning. With the players around me, it helps you enhance your own game and it has been really positive.
“It’s always nice to score and see that all your good work off the pitch has come to fruition on the pitch. I just have to keep it up and keep going!
“It’s always nice to be in the play-offs. We are in a better position that we were this time last year. We are in a good place now, and if we can win a few games over the festive period we’ll be in a good position and go into the new year on a high.”
Saturday’s 1-0 defeat to Preston North End was Dons’ first at home this season, with the visitors scoring early before shutting up shop, welcoming attack after attack.
But Dons will be looking to bounce back at the first opportunity with a Boxing Day clash against Leyton Orient.
And it’s a place Ibehre holds special place for in his heart. The club handed him his Football League debut, and it’s a place that he has fond memories of.
“Leyton Orient a special place for me,” he said. “It’s where I started my career and did my youth apprenticeship, so it’s always a fun place to go.
“I’ve got a great relationship with the supporters and the staff that are still there.
“It’s nervy for me too though, because I have a lot of affiliation for the place, but we’re there to do a job.”
The game on Boxing Day will go ahead as scheduled, despite public transport strikes in London. Kick off 1pm.