The Football League Paper - - INSIDE: - By John Lyons

MK DONS have failed to hit the heights in League One this sea­son – but they’re de­ter­mined to put that right next term.

And they’ve taken a big step to­wards that by sign­ing a pre-con­tract agree­ment with Aberdeen mid­fielder Peter Pawlett.

The 26-year-old will stay at Pit­to­drie for this sea­son and then move south on a two-year deal in the sum­mer.

MK Dons man­ager Robbie Neilson knows all about Pawlett from his time in charge at Hearts and is de­lighted to have re­cruited him.

“He’s had a re­ally good ca­reer in Scot­land and played a lot of games at a real high level,” said Neilson.

“He’s direct, quick and makes things hap­pen. He’s the type of player I think we need. Hope­fully, he can come down and repli­cate the good per­for­mances he’s had up at Aberdeen.”

Hull-born Pawlett moved to Aberdeen­shire as a child and has spent his whole ca­reer with the Dons, apart from a loan spell at St John­stone.

It means the for­mer Scot­land Un­der-21 in­ter­na­tional will be play­ing south of the border for the first time in his ca­reer – and he’s ea­ger to get started.

“I think it’s the right time in my ca­reer to come down to Eng­land,” he said.

“As soon as I heard of the in­ter­est, I knew this was where I wanted to be. This is a great club with a great stadium and it was a huge at­trac­tion for me. The am­bi­tion and po­ten­tial here is huge so, hope­fully, we can re­ally progress. I’m look­ing for­ward to it.”


MK Dons would have been ex­pected to chal­lenge for pro­mo­tion this term fol­low­ing their rel­e­ga­tion from the Championship, but they never hit top gear and long-serv­ing man­ager Karl Robin­son, now in charge at Charl­ton Athletic, was sacked in Oc­to­ber.

In early De­cem­ber, Neilson was ap­pointed man­ager and his first league game in charge ended in a 1-0 home win against bit­ter ri­vals AFC Wim­ble­don.

The teams meet for the first time at Kingsmeadow on Tues­day and there’s likely to be a lively at­mos­phere.

Be­fore the week­end, MK Dons were 15th in the ta­ble, two places and four points be­hind AFC Wim­ble­don, the club set up by fans when the orig­i­nal Wim­ble­don were con­tro­ver­sially al­lowed to move to Mil­ton Keynes by the FA in 2002.

PIC­TURE: Ac­tion Im­ages

HEAD­ING SOUTH: Peter Pawlett is leav­ing Aberdeen in the sum­mer to join MK Dons IM­PRESSED: Robbie Neilson

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