Midfield maestro Peter Sweeney has hailed his move from Bury to AFC Wimbledon as “perfect” because, for him, family always comes first.

The 28-year-old, who made his Dons debut in the League Two 2-2 draw with Wycombe Wanderers, was Neal Ardley’s first permanent signing of the January transfer window.

Sweeney, who started his career at Millwall and was looking for a return to London, had no hesitation in accepting a step down from League One, and entering a relegation dogfight.

Moreover, from what he has seen so far he is confident the Dons will avoid dropping out of the Football League.

“I wanted to come back to London because of family reasons. I have a little girl, and my wife fell pregnant again and she was struggling a bit up in Manchester,” Sweeney said.

“It is not around the corner from her family, so I moved her back to London at the start of the season.

“That meant there was a lot of travelling for me to and fro from Bury.”

He added: “I was at the stage of my life where I wanted to come home, my family wanted to come home. And family is family, they will always come first. The move was perfect for me.”

“The gaffer and [Neil] Cox were good to give me this opportunity to come back and, having spoken to Neal about his ambitions, I don’t consider it a step down.

“I see it as coming to a club that is on the up. Yes, we’re in a dogfight at the moment, but everyone at the club is more than confident we will get out of it.”

The Dons new-found resolve, which has stretched their unbeaten run in League Two to four games, continued with a 2-2 draw against Port Vale last week.

Despite a point against the then League leaders, the match was shrouded in disappointment after the Dons threw away a 2-0 lead.

Sweeney said: “We’re learning. We’re unbeaten in four. We look strong and as if we’re not going to be beaten in games.

“Vale’s first goal just before half-time was vital to them. Timing of goals can win games – I have been in teams plenty of times where you’re 2-0 down, you scored just before half-time and then you go on to win it because the other team is deflated.

“Towards the end of the game, everyone was putting their body on the line to preserve a point.

“Maybe a few months we might have caved in, but you can see the confidence is coming back.”