It is a year since Stephen Gleeson broke his foot in a training ground accident, but he believes he is finally getting back to his best.
The 25-year-old missed three months last season as he recovered from injury, but a calf problem this season has played on his mind too.
But now, 12 months on, the Irishman believes he is getting close to his best form once more, but can’t wait to see the back of 2013.
“It has been frustrating, “ he said. “I can’t wait to see the end of 2013.
“It has been tough with injuries, and I’ve never experienced anything like it before. Hopefully I’m over it, and hopefully 2014 is better.
“It played on my mind when I first came back.
“And my calf injury was weird because I got the all clear from the physios, but until two weeks ago, I didn’t feel confident in it.
“That was the weirdest injury I had. But with my foot, it took me a while to get over the mental side of it.
“I could do with a goal. I feel like I’m getting around the pitch really well, I’m getting in the box more than ever but it’s just frustrating.
“I missed three months of last season and got seven. I’m getting around the pitch more, but I just can’t buy a goal.
“Personally, I’m getting back to my best, so I hope in the next few weeks we can get through this slump.”
While his manager admitted he felt Saturday’s 1-0 win over Dover Athletic was a monkey off Dons’ back, winning for the first time in three games, Gleeson was very critical of the performance.
He said: “After Saturday, I was disgusted with the performance.
“They came here with a game plan but we were terrible, but we got the win.
“But maybe we just needed a win.
“Analysing the performance, I wasn’t happy with it. I know we need to improve massively if we’re to get anything on Saturday.”
Saturday marks his return to Wolves - the club he left to join Dons in 2009.
But facing the team on top of League 1, Gleeson knows every member of the squad needs to be in the right frame of mind to bring back anything from Molineux.
He said: “There’s no pressure on us - we’re playing the team on top of the table and I think most people expect us to go there and lose after the run we’re on.
“We just have to go there with no fear, and get back to the way we know we can play.
“There’s not a lot of confidence in the squad at the moment.
“But if you can’t get up for this game, there’s something wrong with you.
“If we can get something from the game, it could kick start our season hopefully.”
Manager Karl Robinson praised his senior players this week for their role in helping the younger members of his squad through the tough times at stadium:mk so far this season.
At just 25, Gleeson is already considered a senior head, but it is a role he is relishing.
He said: “Over the last few years, I’ve grown into the role of senior player.
“I’m quite opinionated, people do respect me most of the time!
“In the squad, I’m one of the older heads and I do like to be a leader. I don’t think we’re characters who will lie down and take it. We have arguments, but we brush them aside at the end.
“No-one is afraid to speak their minds. We are opinionated and we are trying our best to get out of this run. We’re not just coming in, training and going home.
“No-one has a right to be at a certain point in the table.”