Karl Robinson has told his players they are ready for the trials and tribulations the new League 1 season has to throw at them.
With the curtain raiser on Saturday against Gillingham, Robinson has added to his squad with the signing of Benik Afobe, and refused to rule out a move for Samir Carruthers (see page 77).
While Afobe brings another attacking option, bringing his choice of strikers to three, Robinson believes his side is now ready to make their mark on League 1.
“The whole group is getting stronger and better,” he said. “It’s a good time to be part of the football club.
“I’m really looking forward to it. It’s Christmas now. We’ve got two more big days, then the ball rolls for the first time.”
Although his squad is very young, Robinson is confident that there is enough experience among the ranks to deal with everything the season has in store.
He said: “The unpredictability of any league season, the fear, the nerves jangle obviously, but also the excitement and the group are looking forward to the challenges.
“We’re used to it, it’s part of the industry. We know how it starts, we know how ruthless it is and we’re looking forward to it.
“The average age is very young, but there’s a lot of quality dotted around the club.”
But with all the talking about to stop, Robinson is happy with his pre-season campaign, and is sending out a message to the league.
He said: “We’ve ticked all the boxes. I’ve said to them all in there: we’re ready.
“And that’s the message. We are ready.”