We don’t want to throw it away

Dean Lewington
Dean Lewington

Dean Lewington believes the current Dons squad is better than the one which finished third in league one six years ago - and they can’t afford to throw away the chance of promltion.

Under Roberto di Matteo’s guidance, Dons almost made it back-to-back promotions but dropped away from the automatic spots in the last couple of months to finish in the play-offs - going on to lose to Scunthorpe on penalties in the semi-final.

After suffering a dip in form recently, slumping to three defeats in a row, the club have picked up with four points from their past two games, most recently a 3-1 win at Oldham on Tuesday night.

Having been a part of every MK Dons squad since moving to town, Lewington believes this season offers the best opportunity to get into the Championship.

“We’ve put ourselves in a great position,” said the captain. “It has made everyone feel like we can do it.

“You always strive to go up, and with what we’ve done so far, we’ve put ourselves in a great posotion and we don’t want to throw that away.

“Everyone wrote us off after our little patch, but there’s a long way to go. I know from the year under Roberto Di Matteo - nine games means nothing if you start to lose.

“And teams will lose along the way, we’ve just got to make sure we capitalise and keep winning.”

Back in 2009, newly promoted pair Dons and Peterborough pushed eventual champions Leicester City throughout the season in the battle to escape the third tier.

But as fixtures began to mount up, Dons let slip their grasp on the automatic promotion spots, and it remains the closest they’ve been to securing promotion to the Championship ever since.

Lewington, who took over as captain after Keith Andrews’ departure that season, thinks the current squad has much more nouse about them, and feels it should serve them well in the run in.

He said: “That year, we had the remnants of the promotion winning side, but that was in a lower league.

“It’s difficult to gauge, but when we have a fully fit 11, this is the best.

“Some of the results have been brilliant. We haven’t just beaten teams, but beaten them comfortably.

“This team is the best in terms of capability, we’ve got a bit more steel about us. We were always labelled a bit of a soft touch, but we’ve added that this year.”