Terry Brown has told Dons fans not to read too much into a rocky start to pre-season, as he gets his side ready for three tough home tests before the season proper begins.
At Bognor on Saturday, a last minute goal from Luke Moore sealed a 2-0 win after trialist Dan Collier scored.
But it was not enough to mask an out-of-sorts Dons performance, which continued at Woking on Tuesday when Brown’s men went down 2-1, despite a Jack Midson penalty 10 minutes from time.
“I am disappointed with the games we have played in the last week. We are working very hard, probably a little bit too hard, at the moment, but we are one or two yards off the pace,” Brown
“But we changed a lot of the team and are building a team with a lot of new faces, so I wouldn’t read too much into it.”
The Dons boss admits his side now have to improve, and is already targeting three big tests – at home to Preston, West Ham and Portsmouth – before the season starts.
“This Saturday [away at Eastbourne] we will go through the same drill of between 35 and 60 minutes for all of the squad, but after that the games start getting serious,” he said.
“After Saturday we will look to narrow the selection down. Then we have three big home games.
“I have not started with my defence and have not played my strongest team yet. At Woking my left-back didn’t play and I didn’t start with my two strong centre-backs. It is not an easy time. We have
to improve in every position and I’m sure we will.”
After Saturday’s game at Eastbourne Borough the team will be whisked off for some non-football team building activities, with Brown now focused on the league cup clash with Stevenage on August 14
and the League Two opener against Chesterfield on August 18.
“We are still looking for one or two before then,” he said.
“We are still a filler goalkeeper short and we still need a young centre-half. We have still got one lad on trial, but nothing is close on that.
“I was speaking to the Woking manager and he couldn’t be happier, we are still a little bit away.
“But we have still got a couple of weeks and I expect to see some improvement in defence and up front.”
Meanwhile, Dons favourite Luke Moore has spoken at his relief over being kept on for a fourth season at Kingsmeadow.
The 24-year-old, who joined AFC Wimbledon in 2009, scored 10 goals last term to persuade Brown he was worth another punt this term.
“As soon as the gaffer said he wanted to keep me, I wanted to stay,” he admitted.
“I will be here for as long as the manager wants me. This will be my fourth season at the club and we have progressed each year that I have been here. I want to carry on being a part of this team