Karl Robinson says his side could look completely different next season, but will still be reliant on his captain and vice captain.
The experienced heads of Dean Lewington and Darren Potter, both 31, will again lead the side into League 1 in August, with Robinson backing the pair to increase their influence over the dressing room.
READ: Is it time to remove the old guard for the new?
Last week, the manager admitted some of his senior players would be leaving the club to make way for a fresh new look, but clarified this week that both Lewington and Potter would remain key figures in his side next season.
“Darren Potter and Dean Lewington will be the driving force behind the success of this football club next year,” he said. “They are now people who I will lean on. It’ll will be down to them to take responsibility in the dressing room.
“Dean Lewington will be here for forever and a day, and Darren Potter is someone I have tremendous respect for.
“When I said ‘old guard’ I meant people who had been here for a long time and maybe some names people might see as their favourite players.
“I need to go in a new direction with a new freshness and a new vibe. I will upset some fans doing this and I will take some criticism, but we have to do it. I’m taking emotion out this summer.
“It’s important this team has a youthfulness and a vibrancy to be successful.”