Robbie Neilson expects League 1 to remain tight throughout the season.
Dons are six points off the play-offs, and indeed Saturday's opponents Fleetwood Town after 16 matches, but sit in a lowly 16th in the table.
Uwe Rosler's side are eighth and have lost just once in their last nine matches, and won on their last trip to Stadium MK back in February - a narrow 1-0 win. That win is Fleetwood's only triumph over Dons, with the team from MK1 winning the previous three meetings before.
A win for Dons could see them climb back into the top half of the table, but Neilson believes the league will continue be a close-run thing.
"I think it will be like that for a long time to be honest," said the manager. "We're still only six points off the play-offs even though we've not had a great start. But only one or two have had a great start really, so it's about being consistent and putting a run together to get back up there.
"Fleetwood are a strong team, they had a great team last season and they'll look to do it again this year.
"They're a good team, very organised, strong, difficult to break down. They'll play 3-5-2 with two good strikers up front. They'll sit in and make it extremely difficult for us and will look to hit us on the counter like they did last year.
"We have to stand up to their physicality and organisation, but hopefully we have enough in the team to get the result, because we need it.
"We had two very difficult games at Hyde and then against Oxford and we've managed to come through with two victories. But we've got to carry it on into the league now, that's our bread and butter. The whole club, the fans included, have a bit more confidence now, it gives everyone a lift."
It has been two weeks since any League 1 action, but both sides have been in FA Cup and Checkatrade Trophy action, and both have picked up back-to-back victories so come into the game with some momentum.
Dons will be without Callum Brittain, who departs on England U20 duty, while Osman Sow remains sidelined with a foot injury. Peter Pawlett has returned from injury, having made substitute appearances in the last two.