MK Dons boss Paul Tisdale admitted his side will have to work hard to have any chance of points at Mansfield Town on Saturday.
The Dons have won five in a row to move second, but Stags are also in good form and Tisdale said: “They haven’t conceded many goals, like us, and they look competent in all areas.
“The manager knows the league, they have some good players – it will be a challenge.
“There won’t be any low lying fruit to pick on Saturday, we’ll have to work for our points.
“We know it’s early days and there’s a long way to go. Five wins in a row is a good platform to build from.”
He added: “We can’t just turn up every day and expect it to continue to happen. There has been a lot of hard work into getting the wheels turning.
“It started a few months ago with a few cultural changes, the ethic and themes and disciplines.
“Recently, it has been detail and structure on the pitch. But we can’t just stop.
“The players need reminding but they also know they’re doing well, so we have to find a balance.”
Striker Craig Davies could be back in contention by the time Saturday’s game comes around, but Matt Preston, CJ Hamilton and Tyler Walker are doubts, following a recent training session.
The game will also come too soon for Mansfield Town right-back Hayden White.
Will Atkinson is available for selection after serving his one-match suspension during Tuesday night’s win over Morecambe, following his red card against Swindon last Saturday.