Time away from the game and a fresh approach to the new season have helped Callum Brittain make a flying start on Dons return to League One.
After a strong pre-season showing, which saw him finish as top scorer with three goals, the 21-year-old has continued his form into the new campaign. It took him just 70 seconds to find the net in the 2-1 win over Lincoln City on Tuesday night, and was among the top performers against the League Two champions at Stadium MK.
Last season saw Brittain in and out of the side though as he struggled for consistency, missing three months in the middle of the season before being called back in the midst of Dons' defensive injury crisis at the tail end of the promotion campaign.
But after only his second full season in the first team, Brittain admitted he needed to change his mentality over the summer, and sought a lot of advice before coming back to pre-season training.
He said: "I'd say it was more of a mindset change than anything. Last season had a lot of ups and downs, so I went away, spoke with my dad, spoke with a lot of people, just regained my confidence. I tried to go away, get as fit as possible and come back confident and give it my all.
"The promotion was amazing, and going away with that on your back gives you confidence to come back and hit the ground running. I think I've done that."
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"He's in a good place," added manager Paul Tisdale. "This time last year, there were doubts over him, but he's a young player. There's a robust, physical resilience he needs to play game after game, not for an hour but for 90 minutes. From then to now, there has been a big improvement. He is now becoming fit for purpose, physically, and off the back of that, he has gained confidence.
"His game is particularly strong at the moment. He's a young player, so be prepared for a dip of form, but he's playing well, working hard and if he scored the odd goal like he did on Tuesday he's going to be ready for more progress in his career."