It was with a sense of relief that Paul Tisdale celebrated promotion to League 1.
While the party started in the dressing room around him, the Dons boss sat with his head in his hands in the corner, delighted to have finally achieved promotion after two losing play-off finals previously.
"P-H-E-W!" he spelled out. "That's how it feels – thank goodness for that. Just the complete and utter relief. Then the excitement and the challenge, the horizons open up. It just brightens the place up. The decisions become clearer and it means ultimately my time here at MK Dons have seen the wheels moving forwards and that is a complete and utter delight."
The celebrations lasted long into the night and the following day as the players secured third place in League 2, but for Tisdale, there was precious little downtime as he set his sights on building a side capable of challenging in League 1 next season.
"League 2 is so passé!" he joked. "As pleased as we were with ourselves, patting ourselves on the back, we now have to get ready for what will be a very important summer. We will have a break, but we will try to improve on last year on and off the pitch. We do have to remember have to have a break. It has been a really nice week and it's a good place to be at the moment.
"We wouldn't be doing our job properly if we didn't prepare for every eventuality. We have spent the last six months saying 'if we're in League 1' or 'if we're in League 2' and there was a point where we were asking 'if we're in the Conference' because you look at everything. Fortunately, we put that to one side pretty early.
"But I'm pretty pleased it's League 1. We're very much into what we're doing next."