It is all change behind the scenes at MK Dons but new Sporting Director Liam Sweeting feels the club’s current trajectory should see them aiming for the top.
A vast improvement last season saw Dons go from relegation scrappers to confidently midtable come the close, with form since January suggesting even greater things could have unfolded had they made a better fist of the opening few months of the campaign.
Next season will be no easy task though. With some big-hitters vying for a way out of the third tier, Dons will certainly not be the only club with promotion aspirations. But rather than hide behind a veil of apathy and nondescript expectations, Sweeting feels Dons should be open with their ambitions.
“The division always looks competitive but there will be some big clubs in there,” he said. “But you wouldn’t have put Blackpool or Lincoln in the top eight at the start of last season and they had great seasons.
“They show that with the right process, with a clear identity, you can make it - why can’t that be us.
“We’re always growing, people talk about us like that so I don’t see why not.
“We have to be respectful but we’ve competed with these clubs before so why not believe we can do it now.
“We want to improve constantly, but we have to be brave and believe we can do anything. That’s not setting an unrealistic expectation, that’s just saying we’ve got a good group of players, an excellent manager, why can’t we achieve something.
“A top eight finish would be great, a top six finish would be fantastic. We have to improve but we have to believe anything is possible.”
Transitioning from Head of Recruitment and Performance Analysis to Sporting Director should be a seamless switch for Sweeting, already with three years of experience at Stadium MK, seeing first hand how much it has improved, but crucially, where it needs to go next.
His new position is one not really seen in England, let alone in League One, but Sweeting says Dons have to think outside the box, just as they have with their style of play, to get the club where they want it to be.
He said: “I think as a club in League One, with the level of opposition, we have to do things slightly differently to the rest.
“We already do that with the style of football, how we operate in the transfer market and this is the next step to take us to the next level.
“With this structure, I think it’ll be the driving force to success.”