Tough decisions and hard conversations ahead for Lewington

The skipper has already told some players they won't be playing at Bolton

Friday, 6th August 2021, 10:14 am
Dean Lewington has taken charge of training this week

One of the hardest jobs in management is telling players they won't be playing - and Dean Lewington has had his first experience of that this morning (Friday).

The captain will by in the dugout for MK Dons, after more than 800 appearances on the pitch, as the club hunts for a new manager following the departure of Russell Martin last Sunday. Included in his extra responsibilities in the lead up to the game, Lewington has had to pick the team for Saturday's League One opener against Bolton Wanderers.

And it has meant the skipper has had to break the news to some members of his squad about team selection for the game.

"I've done my first two this morning and it's not nice, but it's something that has to be done," he said. "As long as you're honest and explain your reasons, that's all you can ask for as a player. For me, now on the other side for this game, honesty is the best policy and people will respect that.

"At the start of the week, there was a bit of dread but as the week has gone on, it has built up. I'm very much looking forward to it. It's something completely new for me, it'll be exciting. I'll give it my all and try and enjoy it as much as possible."

While placed in temporary charge of the squad before a new manager is found, Lewington admitted his Dons side won't look too dissimilar to one Russell Martin would have utilised for their opening game.

He said: "We'd be foolish in a week to rip everything up and start again and try to be different. It will look very much like it did, that's what we've been working on for 18 months and what we've spend pre-season doing.

"Obviously I've got a few little things I'd like to change and implement, which we've only had a couple of days to work on, so it will look slightly different but on the whole the same. We're trying to make the best use of what we already know. We don't want to confuse messages and have players who don't know what they're doing."