Chairman has enjoyed Dons progress this season

"It has been a few years since I've been able to believe and feel positive again"

Monday, 10th May 2021, 1:34 pm
Updated Monday, 10th May 2021, 1:36 pm
Pete Winkelman

Pete Winkelman said he has enjoyed the progress made by MK Dons this season, and wants to see the team progress even further next term.

Dons finished in their highest league position since 2016/17 - when they finished 12th with 61 points - on Sunday when they finished 13th with 65 points. They were in with a mathematical shot of a top six finish until the penultimate game too, such was the tight nature of the third tier this season.

Suffering a few win-less streaks towards the end of the campaign probably put paid to their chances of a play-off spot, with the strive for consistency arguably Dons' biggest issue throughout the season. And Winkelman feels if the team can find that consistency, with some new additions in the summer, Dons can push on next season.

"That's what we've got to fight for - that level of consistency that a really good team can have. I'm hopeful if we can strengthen in the summer, we can head into the new season with a little bit more ambition. I want to keep enjoying watching the football."

Despite watching his side promoted two years ago, the chairman admitted his enjoyment had waned over the years, but under Russell Martin, had restored faith in the way his team was playing and where they were going.

"I've been really impressed by Russ' vision and his belief in what he's doing," said Winkelman. "Even when it wasn't working so well, he believes totally in the process, and everyone downstairs agrees with him. It has been a few years since I've been able to believe and feel positive again.

"We know we can make people nervous but we're entertaining when we play well. That's what we've got to fight for - that level of consistency that a really good team can have.

"I threw him in at the deep end and he did enough to keep us in League One, which is all we could have asked for. This season, we've seen this team progress. We've got right back to the basics. This team used to be about passing through the thirds, taking a few risks and trying to score more than the opposition and I can see those elements in what Russ is trying to do.

"There are some great positives. Keeping the team together is a great challenge, we're developing some great young players too and I'm really enjoying watching how we're playing."