Dons must be hard to beat in a more predictable League One
Mel Gwinnett has predicted a less erratic style of play when MK Dons return to League One this season.
After a season in League Two, the first-team coach says fans can expect a more consistent but dangerous level of opponents back in the third tier, which will dictate how Dons will approach games this term.
"In League One, the standard technically is better," he said. "There is less variety in the way teams play – fewer long-ball teams. It tends to be a managed, organised structure and the ball is moved quicker, so the players are that bit better. You can expect far more counter-attacking football, teams set up for that, they give up possession less often.
"When we were there with Exeter, we noticed a higher quality on set-plays as well.
"We go into every season with a style everyone understands. We came here and had to stop the losing mentality and get players playing. It's similar again this season. We've got a good squad and good players, and after the first few games, we'll see how competitively we are. We will adapt as we always do, but we'll certainly be a tough team to beat."
Dons have added six new faces to the squad this summer, but Gwinnett says the defence will once again be key in their campaign, with a lot of options in key positions all over the field.
He added: "If we're pushing for the league, and pushing to try and get as high as we can, you need all positions covered. We want to be hard to beat, and win as many games as we can – who knows where that will take us.
"Teams keep clean sheets, teams win games. Everyone in the team does their job – that could be a striker blocking a ball up the field to stop a chance, it can be a centre half heading away, or a midfielder tracking back and making a tackle. We defend and attack as a team, and that's our strength."