Dean Lewington feels the side’s two-week tour of Ireland has gone as well as possible, with the Dons set to travel back to the UK this evening.
Karl Robinson’s side wrapped up their overseas trip with a 4-1 win over Championship outfit Birmingham City in a behind-closed-doors friendly on Wednesday afternoon. Alan Smith netted his first of pre-season to get the Dons off to a flying start before goals from Shaun Williams, Daniel Powell and George Baldock secured victory after Blues’ Koby Arthur had cancelled out Smith’s effort.
The men from MK1 have been training in the Irish capital since the beginning of the month and having made it through the three-a-day training sessions, beach runs and friendlies the playing squad will now travel back to Milton Keynes ahead of the friendlies with Newport Pagnell Town and Leighton Town on Saturday.
Before flying home, captain Lewington caught up with mkdons.com to give his verdict on a tough, but beneficial, two weeks away from stadiummk.
The 29-year-old said: “(Pre-season) has gone very well. The games have gone really well, the training’s gone really well and we’ve not had many injuries so, as it goes, it’s been a very good pre-season.
“The heats a big factor and it’s difficult but the preparation we’ve done has put us in good stead, like yesterday we finished strong and it shows that what we’re doing is working. A lot of the boys look fit and we look in good shape.
“It’s pre-season so we won’t get too carried away (with the results) but we tried a few different things and it’s pleasing when it comes off. The little patterns of play and movements that we’ve been doing in training are starting to work in the games which is the most pleasing thing.
“We’ve also had Dele and Brendan here since the start and they’ve both been fantastic, they’re both very good players and they’ve come on leaps and bounds from last year - they’re really stepping up. Giorgio and Harry have come out and done great as well so the future for the Club is looking fantastic.”
Lewington is one of many who is keen to make up for the disappointment of last season and the full-back has been working especially hard during the off season to return in the best condition possible.
Dons boss Robinson has praised his skipper in recent weeks for returning in, what he referred to as ‘the best shape he’s ever been in’ - an assessment Lewington echoes.
“I’d agree. I’ve worked really hard over the last six months, working on my diet and doing fitness sessions with Damo, we’re doing extra sessions.
“A lot of the boys have done that as well and I think a lot of them have come back leaner than when they went away. Everyone’s looking really good and it’s given us a platform to really attack pre-season and try and push the boundaries as much as we can.”