Dons players enjoying coming to work after a year of misery
The MK Dons dressing room is a much happier place this season.
Two relegations in three seasons and four managerial changes undoubtedly influenced the mood amongst the players, who now find themselves plying their trade in League 2.
Since the arrival of Paul Tisdale in the summer, Dons have begun to get back on track, winning four in a row for the first time since 2015 and moving into the automatic promotion spots in the division.
The difference, according to Dean Lewington and Alex Gilbey, is not only the style of football, but the atmosphere Tisdale and his staff have helped to create.
"It's different," said captain Lewington. "The staff have been great – they're all nice blokes, they have respect for people and treat people in the right way. The squad this year is happy, you'll always have a happy team because you're playing but you need the 10-15 squad players who aren't playing to be onside. This year, we have that. Everyone is buying into what we're doing, and results on the pitch help massively. There's no happy camp when you're losing.
"We've got good characters, all the new guys are good characters and what we've been missing for several years, and this is as strong as I've seen it in a long time."
Gilbey added: "It's unbelievable. You come into work every day and enjoy what you're doing – that's a huge difference. We're going into games excited to play football and that's what everyone wants to do, growing up as a kid dreaming of being a professional footballer."