Sweeting learnt some painful lessons in Dons’ darkest year

Sporting Director Liam Sweeting was blamed for MK Dons’ poor season last term
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A transfer window can change a lot at a football club, and never has that been more evident than at MK Dons.

Liam Sweeting’s name was on the tip of everyone’s tongue in May following Dons’ relegation to League Two – the Sporting Director blamed for poor recruitment which ultimately saw the club fall from third in League One to out the trapdoor into League Two in 12 months.

While his offer to resign was turned down by chairman Pete Winkelman in the immediate aftermath, Sweeting set about rebuilding with new head coach Graham Alexander.

Eleven signings later, a good start to the season and a generally good mood around Stadium MK again, the feeling towards Sweeting has somewhat eased.

“The person who is most critical of me is me,” he said on Wednesday, facing the media for the first time since January. “I didn’t take any more hurt from anything anyone said other than what I felt driving home from Burton. I judge myself to a high standard, I’m in a privileged position.

“Last season hurt but I cannot affect the past, only the future.

“Following some honest and difficult discussions with the chairman, we’ve drawn a line under it and move on. We both have a fight and determination to do something about it. You have to learn from last season.

“The sporting director job is for the medium to long term, it’s about continued strategy, and as long as the chairman has faith and trust in me to deliver that, we had to carry on.

“We were always going to face a lot of change after being relegated, so I feel like there was a lot coming on the horizon.

“Other clubs, other chairman might not have given me the chance to correct things but I feel I’ve been given that opportunity.

“We’re a big club at this level, we have to embrace that, and there is an expectation on us to deliver this season. And we have to.”

Sweeting was quick to reiterate the mission for the season though – putting right the wrongs of last term by bouncing back immediately to League One.

He added: “We’ve started the season relatively well and got through the transfer window, and have to embrace what is expected of us now - promotion from this league.”