NO one was going to tempt fate by touching the trophy, but there is no doubt about it – Dons have set their sights on the League 1 title.
Karl Robinson, Dean Bowditch and Charlie MacDonald posed for pictures and signed autographs at thecentre:mk on Tuesday afternoon, next to the prize they are determined to take home with them at the end of April – the npower League 1 trophy.
Robinson believes the division will be harder than some people think, but he is still backing his side to come good and secure promotion to the Championship at the fifth attempt.
“That trophy is built for champions, and we’re not champions yet,” said Robinson, who kept glancing over his shoulder to take another look at it.
“It’s a sacred thing, that only people who have worked hard for 10 months get. Hopefully if we get to touch it, we’ll have deserved it.”
The first week of the season sees Dons face a tough schedule, starting with Oldham Athletic at stadium:mk on Saturday before away trips to Bournemouth and Swindon in quick succession.
But despite the hectic nature of the opening seven days, the boss does not believe there is any time to relax during the whole season with the pressure now on Dons to deliver.
“It’s what we’re paid to do,” said Robinson, set to start his third full season in charge. “The first month is just as important as the others, we just have to make sure we’re doing the right things. If we do, then we will achieve our goal.
“The league will be difficult. Everyone is expecting the league to be easier this season but that’s not the case, it’ll be hard.
“We’ve got to make sure we’re ready for every possible outcome and that’s what we’ve tried to do this pre-season.
“This stage of the season is the best time for us. We do things with the fans and the media, it’s a time we relish – uncertainty, unpredictability. I’ve been waiting for the season for a long time and it’s just around the corner now.
“I think the side that wins the league will lose more games than in previous years, it will be very unpredictable. We can’t get too down heartened if we lose – we have got to make sure we bounce back and get into a rhythm.
“It gets underway on Saturday and I’m so excited.”