Dean Lewington will take interim care of MK Dons while the Club searches for a new manager, Sporting Director Liam Sweeting confirmed on Tuesday.
The Dons are without a manager following the departure of Russell Martin but, with the support of the Sports Science and Medicine department, club captain Lewington will take charge of preparations for Saturday’s Sky Bet League One opener at Bolton Wanderers.
“The group are in great hands,” Sweeting said in a press conference on Tuesday.
“Dean Lewington has really stepped up here in the way he’s handled himself and the way he spoke to the group on Monday, after I had spoken to them. You could see by his post-match press (on Saturday) too, coming out to do it having not even kicked a ball.
“He’s made it clear that he’s a player and he wants to play but what he is, is a leader and an extremely good person that this group look up to. For him to step up and lead this group in the interim puts us in really safe hands.
“He has support around him from the Sports Science team and a couple of other coaches. Our preparations for Saturday could not be in safer hands, in my view.”
Lewington leads a group of players who will, no doubt, be hurting after the events of last weekend but Sweeting has confidence in the MK Dons captain, and the squad, to deal with their emotions professionally - and maybe even use it to their advantage.
“If you look at change, there is a change curve that everybody goes through at different speeds – the first part is denial, the second part is anger and then the third and fourth part is acceptance and moving on.
“Now, I’ve been able to move through that change curve quite quickly because I’m professional and it’s my job to do so, but our players, our staff and our fans will all go through it but at different speeds. We have to be wary of those who are hurt and might take a little bit longer to get through.
“I get a disappointed and angry vibe from the team that we have to use as fuel to go into the start of the season. We hope that they have an extra bit of motivation to prove to everyone, including those who are maybe writing us off now, that we are still here and still functioning.
“Ultimately, their careers are not defined by Russell Martin just as mine isn’t. They joined MK Dons first and foremost and I would hope they would be professional and we will look forward to who comes in together.
“This is a really good group and we have a great leader and, ultimately, it’s always about the players -they are the most important thing and we trust them.
“The guys have set their own targets about what they believe is possible and I made the point to them yesterday – they shouldn’t move away from that! I’m still excited to see what they can go and achieve.”
Tickets for Saturday's Sky Bet League One opener with Bolton Wanderers are on sale now.
Tickets are priced at £21 adults, £16 over-65s/under-23s, £10 under-18s and £8 under-12s. Supporters with a disability are entitled to a FREE personal assistant.
To purchase tickets CLICK HERE, visit the Box Office at Stadium MK or call 01908 622922.