Karl Robinson likened his role as MK Dons manager to a marriage as he prepares his side for their final game of 2012/13.
The Dons boss will complete his third full-season as manager of the Football Club this Saturday, a tenure which currently sees him ranked as the 15th longest-serving manager in the country, just ahead of Shrewsbury Town boss Graham Turner.
And Robinson admitted that despite the many highs and lows that he has experienced during his time at stadiummk, his love for both the team and the City is as strong as ever.
The 32-year-old said: “Being a manager is almost like a marriage in the sense that you go through good times and bad times together but the loyalty you continuously show each other, along with the affection, will always stay the same and I love Milton Keynes just as much, maybe even more, than I did when I just joined four years ago.
“This season has, at the end of the day, been a failure for us. When you look back, there here have been things internally that haven’t been right and I have to take responsibility for that. There are things that I need to do better.
“There’s a number of different areas we need to improve but I still feel that if we would have had all of our players fit then we would have been in a very competitive position, that’s the sour taste for me because nobody will know what this team could have achieved.
“Saying that, there have also been moments this year that will go down in Dons folklore. There have been many chapters and doors that have opened for us and I think as a Club, we came of age this year.
“Of course I’m disappointed and I feel as if I’ve let the fans and the Chairman down and this summer will be a very difficult one but as people say it’s not the getting knocked down that matters, it’s about getting back up and doing it in a way only Milton Keynes knows how too.
“This City has been knocked for many years but it keeps getting back up and it’s become a better City for it. There’s a tremendous sense of pride about being from Milton Keynes and I think that’s the same with the Football Club.”
Although the Dons still have one League fixture remaining, a trip to Stevenage on Saturday afternoon, Robinson admitted that he already has one eye on next season as he looks to mount another push for promotion to English football’s second tier.
“I’ve already begun building for next season and I’m already excited. I’m going to meet with agents today and I’ve met with four or five over the course of the last week, in an attempt to bring players in for next season. We’ve got four weeks before I go away on holiday and that will be four solid weeks of assessing and making sure that a year like this never happens again.
“On the pitch, it’s almost a fact that every team who doesn’t succeed will lose players. There will be teams below us that will lose players and we’ll look to take them but there will be teams who are looking to take our players as well because that’s the risk you take when you don’t succeed.
“To me, this Saturday is just about putting on a performance for the Chairman and the fans, regardless of the end result. I will make some changes from last week as we can’t affect our position in the League but it will be a game full of passion and pride in an attempt to say a big thank you to the supporters and the Chairman, because they deserve it.”