Dons are planning for two different futures when it comes to their summer recruitment drive.
Sat comfortably in fourth spot in League 1, Karl Robinson’s side are still very much in the running for automatic promotion, while a play-off campaign at the very least looks almost assured.
We have already had four meetings about next year with players lined up who we believe can compete at both levels.Karl Robinson
With clubs beginning to shape their plans ahead of next season already, Robinson said he has already sat down with his back room staff to create two plans - one for another League 1 campaign, and one for the Championship.
“We have already had four meetings about next year with players lined up who we believe can compete at both levels,” he said.
“But there are certain players we won’t be able to afford in this league. It’s difficult, but it’s a nice situation to be in. This time last year, I was planning for League 1.
“Next year, I want to move the club forward in every area. If players want to stay at the club, they’ll have to keep up with me. If they can’t cope with that, they’re not at the right club.
“The transfer market is extremely interesting, depending on what league you’re in, and it brings different challenges.”
Those challenges often end up boiling down to money - something which chairman Pete Winkelman has been fairly regimented with in recent years as he, along with Robinson, aim to make the club self-sufficient and sustainable.
But with the club very much in the promotion battle for the first time in three years, both manager and chairman are excited by what the future holds.
Robinson added: “I had a great chat with the chairman. We have our debates, but the conversation was different to any before.
“He knows how much we both want this, but he also knows we have to do it in the right way. The club has moved forward and he’s excited by what we can do.”