With the club floundering in the League 1 relegation zone, Dons captain Dean Lewington has admitted the club have had to re-evaluate their ambitions for this season.
Having suffered relegation from the Championship last season, Dons had set out to bounce straight back to the second tier at the first time of asking. However, with just four wins from 17 matches back in League 1, the departure of Karl Robinson as manager and the club 21st in the table, more realistic targets are being set, the skipper said, with the immediate goal to get away from the drop zone.
“The long term picture has to be scaled back, because we’re in the relegation zone and our first target is to get out of that,” Lewington said. “Medium and long term insight has to be cut right back and we’ve got to go game-by-game, get three points and catch the teams ahead of us. It’s a lot more short sighted now, and just about the immediate challenge.
“I don’t think we’ll be too far off where we set out to be, and a good run won’t leave us too far out of contention.”
Despite their difficult return to the third tier and re-evaluating their promotion ambitions though, Lewington believes a good run will put Dons - who are nine points off the play-off pace - back into the mix for a solid finish.
He said: “It’s a really mixed up league at the moment. I think Scunthorpe being up there has surprise a lot of people. There’s no clear favourite. A lot of teams are being each other too. It’ll be competitive, and there will be surprises in there, so it gives everyone a chance. It will take a win, someone coming in to inject us with confidence, or some new ideas.
“Bradford were the best team we’ve played, they’ve got some good players there. But there’s no real stand out team. We went to Scunthorpe and Sheffield United, we left thinking we should have got more out of it. “