Dons' final game like something from a Hollywood script

Pete Winkelman
Pete Winkelman

The stakes for both MK Dons and Mansfield Town could not be higher as they head into their final game promotion decider.

The Stags head to Stadium MK above Dons on goal difference alone, meaning Saturday’s clash will mean promotion to League 1 for one or the other.

For Mansfield, a draw is enough to see them into the third tier, while Dons must beat David Flitcroft’s side to return at the first time of asking.

“It’s winner takes it all,” said chairman Pete Winkelman. “If we have to go through the play-offs, because it doesn’t work out, we’ll learn lessons and put it right. It’s down to us, we can affect it, and I like being in that position from being out of control for the last two years.

“Come along, support us, be the 12th man and it could be season defining. We need promotions after the last couple of years.”

Anything other than victory for Dons on Saturday will mean a play-off campaign. Manager Paul Tisdale has suffered back-to-back play-off final defeats with his former club Exeter City - who currently sit eighth in the league two table - and though automatic promotion is his obvious first choice, Winkelman added: “If we lose, it’s not the end of the world.

“I haven’t gone into many games thinking I can just about survive any of the outcomes.

“It could still be a fantastic season. Any of us would have taken this last season.

“I want people to remember where we were. Nothing I tried worked. I had fear in what I was doing. The club is here to take Milton Keynes forwards and we needed success.

“You can’t attract investment without success, so I’m so pleased with what we’ve achieved this year, and Paul Tisdale has been a massive part of making sure that has between the case.”