Promotion winner Wheeler felt more nerves off the field

David Wheeler scores the winner against Mansfield
David Wheeler scores the winner against Mansfield

David Wheeler admitted he was more nervous when he came off than when he was playing as MK Dons secured promotion to League 1.

The goal-scorer netted after just two minutes in the 'winner takes all' clash against Mansfield on Saturday, but as he was substituted 21 minutes to go, spent the remainder of the of the game nervously on the bench.

Wheeler, on loan from QPR, scored three goals in the final four games but admitted the nerves really hit him when he was off the field.

"When I was on the pitch, I was fine, but when I came off and was on the bench, it was horrible," he said. "I was edge the whole time. I was pretty confident, we'd conceded hardly any shots.

"I've been in situations like that where we've avoided relegation and it's total relief. At 1-0 it was nervy, but we were just elated, chuffed.

"When you score that early, there are bound to be other things that happen, but I'm lucky on a personal level that it was my goal to send us up. Defensively, the amount of headers they won in the last 10 minutes was incredible."

Wheeler has one of the catchiest songs - to the tune of The Champs: Tequila - and the 28-year-old is delighted to have had the support of the Dons faithful.

He said: "I love tequila! It's always nice, and I've been very lucky that wherever I've played I've had an affinity with the fans. It's a great tune to have and I'm so grateful to have that support. I came here and hadn't scored many, but they stayed behind me and I'm really grateful for that.

"It's enough to know I've done it, it doesn't need to be up on the wall. To know I've contributed in that way is more than enough.