Jack Midson has sent a plain message to AFC Wimbledon boss Neal Ardley – give me the starts, and I’ll give you the goals.

For two seasons, the 30-year-old has topped the club’s goal-scoring charts, but the arrival on loan of Michael Smith this season dropped Midson down the pecking order.

Even when Smith returned to Charlton Athletic after Christmas, Midson had to do battle with new loanees Charlie Wyke and Danny Hylton.

And while the arrival of Kwesi Appiah has heralded the end of Wyke’s time in south west London, it has also given Midson fresh competition.

“Everyone always says ‘How many goals you getting?’ but I set a target of how many starts I get,” he said.

“I know from my career that if I get regular starts I get regular goals, so I have to aim for as many appearances as possible and that comes from working hard on and off the pitch.

“Hopefully I can stake a claim for the next game and try and get as many starts as I can towards the end of the season.

“I probably should have had a goal against Bristol on Saturday but that comes with regular games, which I have not really had so hopefully I can get that and get sharper in front of goal.”

He added: “I scored the winner against Cheltenham and wanted to push on from there but then got sent off against Northampton and had to miss another game.”

Midson has scored 39 goals in 135 Dons appearances, including the vital penalty winner in last season’s final day drama against Fleetwood Town.

And the former Oxford United man is adament this season will not go to the wire.

“We’ve got more than enough in the squad to stay up,” he said.

“We’re all disappointed we’re not higher up, but we are where we are for a reason, so we’ve got to keep going.

“You could see the desire against Bristol, and if we keep going that way we will pick up more wins than losses.”