MK boss Neilson reveals club legend Lewington likely to leave MK Dons in January
Dean Lewington looks to have played his last game for MK Dons after manager Robbie Neilson revealed after his side's 4-1 victory over Maidstone United that the long-serving defender will be made available for loan in January.
The 33-year-old has been with the Dons since their formation in 2004 and it will be a long time until anybody betters the 649 appearances he has made for the club.
But despite signing a new two-year contract in the summer, the flame-haired left-back has been phased out of the team by Neilson this season.
Lewington wasn't on the bench as the Dons came from behind to reach the third round of the FA Cup and now looks certain to be elsewhere once the transfer window opens next month.
Neilson said: "I had a chat with Dean at the start of the season about his game time and what I felt it would be and Dean feels he can still play week in, week out.
"I didn't think he could do that, at the moment, and we've got Scott Golbourne in there playing very well for us.
"We've decided to move forward and freshen the team up, so Dean has decided that he wants to go out on loan in January, which we support.
"I can totally understand because when you get to Dean's age and the amount of games he's played, you want to finish your career playing week in, week out so he's going to look at that option in the January window.
"We'll be as supportive as we can for him - he signed a two-year contract in the summer and the idea was that he'd continue to be in the team and come into the coaching side of it.
"But he feels he wants to play week in, week out and I can totally understand that from him."
Neilson was happy with the way his side didn't panic despite falling behind against Maidstone, who threatened to become the first non-League outfit to knock the Dons out of the FA Cup.
Magnus Okuonghae's 25th-minute opener stung the hosts into action and they passed up several opportunities either side of half-time as they searched for an equaliser.
It eventually arrived through Aidan Nesbitt and they took full control from that point, with substitute Kieran Agard giving them an unassailable lead by scoring twice within seven minutes of being brought on.
Neilson said: "We came out and played our game, got the first goal and once that second goal went in, we were very comfortable.
"The message from the coaching staff and myself was don't panic, keep doing what we're doing, keep moving the ball and the chances will come, so let's take them.
"We managed to do that so all in all, a good day.
"Yes the first half was a difficult one, but if you going to get through and get as far as you want in the cups you're going get games where you have to go through tough periods."