Striker Izale McLeod has confessed to finding his return to MK Dons harder than he expected.
The 28-year-old re-signed for the Dons at the start of January having spent the first half of the season with struggling Portsmouth.
In 27 games for Pompey McLeod scored 11 games and returned to the Dons still boasting the record as the Club’s all-time top goal scorer.
However, McLeod’s second stint with the Dons started on a one-match ban carried over from his Fratton Park days and with the striker ineligible to feature in the FA Cup run he found match time limited in his first few weeks at MK1.
Speaking to mkdons.com the Birmingham-born forward said: “In my career I have never moved halfway through a season, so this was my first time and I suppose it was a lot harder than I thought it would be to try and settle in.”
McLeod was limited to 13 appearances for Karl Robinson’s side, of which eight came from the bench, and he netted once in the 3-0 home win over then-League leaders Doncaster Rovers.
“It has been more than frustrating, I haven’t played a major part but it is something I want to rectify for next season because I don’t want to be sitting on the bench, I want to be playing football like everyone else.”
The former Charlton player is now concentrating on making sure he maintains his fitness over the close-season and aims to impress boss Robinson in pre-season in a bid to force his way into the starting XI on a regular basis.
“I am a pretty fit guy generally so doing the off-season work isn’t too much trouble for me. I don’t dread pre-season, at the end of the day it has to be done. I think when I was younger I might have struggled but now I have done it so many times it is like second nature and you just get on with it knowing it will help for the season.
“It’s going to be good just to get pre-season under my belt and to play some pre-season games, and then the plan is to hit the ground running from there.”