Terry Brown reveals AFC Wimbledon’s grasp on the purse strings means they are always likely to be small fry when it comes to the Blue Square Premier.

The Dons saw their faint play-off hopes all but extinguished after Tuesday night’s 2-2 draw with Wrexham at Kingsmeadow.

And boss Brown admits if Wimbledon are to ever reach the promised land of league football, it will have to be built from within.

He said: “You look at the league now and it is unrecognisable from say 15 years ago.

“The Conference has just got stronger and stronger.

“Go back a decade or so and you never had sides like Oxford United or Luton Town at this level.

“There are five or six clubs at this level now with playing budgets of a million pounds and we cannot compete with that.

“We are always going to operate within our budgets and will never go and splash out on a player.

“For us to key to success is putting together a squad that can grow and take this club forward over the next few years.”

After Saturday’s disappointing 1-0 defeat to Rushden & Diamonds, the Dons bounced back performance wise against Wrexham.

But they still required late goals from Glenn Poole and a Frank Sinclair own goal to claim a share of the spoils, which left Brown mystified.

He added: “We played as well as we have done since the start of the season.

“Both our full-backs were bombing forward and we absolutely battered them.

“How we were 2-1 down with injury time to play was unbelievable, but we dug in and got our reward of sorts.”

Wimbledon face a hectic Easter period with Saturday’s trip to Histon, Monday’s Kingsmeadow clash with Stevenage and a Wednesday trek to York on the horizon.

And the Dons manager accepts the trio of games will probably decide their fate for the campaign.

Brown added: “As long as it is technically possible for us to make the play-offs we will still keep fighting.

“But it is going to be a big ask - basically we have to win at Histon and get something against Stevenage to keep our hopes alive.

“If we can do that and then go and win at York who knows - but it is a long shot.”

AFC Wimbledon’s next three matches: Apr 3 Histon (a), 5 Stevenage Borough (h), 7 York City (a)