Skipper Dean Lewington believes most MK Dons players will feel they have unfinished business at stadiummk.
Having set out their stall at the start of the 2012/13 season to secure promotion to the Championship, the Dons missed out on the play-offs as they ended the year in eighth place.
The Dons left-back, who missed the end of the season with knee ligament damage, thinks it is important to reflect on the past nine months and take the positives, but overall he admits it is clouded with a sense of frustration.
Speaking to mkdons.com Lewington said: “I look back at the season with sadness, disappointment and a bit of frustration. It was frustrating – there were some really good bits to it and some really bad bits to it, unfortunately, too much of it was bad.
“It feels like a bit of a missed opportunity. This year we had a good squad but with a few key injuries and loss of form our season fell away so you do look back knowing you have missed out. At one point in February our season could have been over a lot earlier than it was, so the lads did well to get back and take it to the 45th game of the season because at one point we were freefalling to nowhere.”
The side’s bold ambitions of promotion played an impact on the mentality of the team and that of the teams who made the trip to MK1 last year, according to the Dons defender.
Lewington knows the Dons’ biggest downfall last season was the results against teams in the bottom half of the table, and he believes boss Karl Robinson will be working tirelessly over the summer
to ensure that is not the case next season.
The 28-year-old added: “We had a great record against teams in the top half, but a bad record against teams in the bottom half. It’s difficult to put your finger on why that is, perhaps it is the way they setup and play against us, and maybe we don’t raise our game enough. It’s definitely something that the Gaffer will look at over the summer as that is where there is big room for improvement.
In the past we couldn’t beat a top six team, now that we can we seem to have lost that knack of finishing off teams at the bottom.
“I think pressure might have played a part as well, I think the way other teams see you is important as well. Everyone thought we would be challenging this year and when you saw other teams coming off the pitch this year they were genuinely delighted to beat us because we were a big scalp in their eyes, whereas in years gone by that wasn’t the case.”
“When you look around at the team you can’t help but know we should have done better, personally and as a team you know when you have underachieved or overachieved. If you look at our team we have a good squad and a good way of playing so I think we do feel as though there is unfinished business still.”