Jules does not consider himself Lewington's replacement
"I won't get involved in outside noise or the perception of me"
Many have tried, and all so far have failed to displace Dean Lewington in the MK Dons side, but Zak Jules doesn't consider that to be his motive to get into Russell Martin's side.
The 24-year-old was signed as a left-sided centre back in January, with the long-term vision of becoming a regular in that position. However, Lewington's adaptation to the role - new for him in his 19th season as a pro - appeared seamless as he racked up 50 appearances last season.
With Lewington's legend rolling on for another season after signing a new deal, Jules says he is not seeing his role as one to usurp the skipper from his place in the side, instead to impress on his own terms.
"I feel I want do to the best I can," he said. "I want to give it everything and hopefully that’s enough, I won't get involved in outside noise, or the perception of me. It’s about improving as a player and kicking on as much as I can.
"Deano has been through it all, he’s had all kinds of experiences, he’s never shy in giving me advice, he’s not the type to keep it all to himself he wants to help everyone out. His words of wisdom show how good of a person he is and how good of a person he is to have about the place."
Jules came into the side last January when he signed from Walsall, embarking on a style of play which he admits took time to adjust to. Now though, after 20 appearances and a goal to his name, the defender says he will find it much easier to hit the ground running when the season kicks off in August.
He said: "It was a change from what I’m used too at first team level. Coming through youth teams you play that style, when you play in lower leagues, it’s not common to play this way. A lot of people don’t look at it like men's football. It’s taken some adjustment but I’m loving It. It’s something I’ve always wanted to be involved in.
"There was a lot of turnover when I arrived, so it's not just me but others as well.
"It's difficult coming in half way through a season, you’re getting to grips with everything all at once. Coming in now, you have time to work with the coaches in a less tense environment. It was Saturday-Tuesday for my first few months, it was very hectic.
"It’ll be a lot easier now with some free time for some more individual work with Russ and his staff."