Barker expects Dons manager announcement by middle of next week

Richie Barker.
Richie Barker.
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MK Dons' caretaker boss Richie Barker understands a new manager could be in place at MK Dons by midweek.

The club parted company with Karl Robinson after six years at the helm two weeks ago following defeat at home to Southend, but have yet to appoint a replacement.

Former Dons midfielder Paul Mitchell, who is currently serving his notice as Head of Recruitment for Tottenham Hotspur, is favourite for the post.

Barker said he is set to take charge of Tuesday's match in the Checkatrade Trophy against Norwich at Carrow Road but believes a new manager will be installed by midweek.

They're hoping something will happen in the middle of the week," he said. "I know it's a busy time in the next 48 hours, but the last thing on their minds will be to have a manager pick a team for a dead rubber in the Checkatrade Trophy against Norwich. I'll get on with that.

"Unless I'm told different, I'll be taking the team for the Norwich game in the week."

While Barker could be set to leave the club following the appointment of a new manager, he was able to see off the unwelcome record of 13 games at home without a win as he guided his side to a 3-2 win over Spennymoor Town in the FA Cup.

Three goals in the opening 14 minutes from Ben Reeves, Brandon Thomas-Asante and Kieran Agard effectively put the game to bed, though the non-league side made it uncomfortable for Dons, with Joseph Tait and Andrew Johnson pulling goals back for the visitors.

Despite the nervous final seven minutes after Johnson score Spennymoor's second, Barker said he hoped his side didn't consciously take their foot off the gas.

He said: "I hope not because they shouldn't have done. I told them at 3-0 if they kept doing the right things it would be an enjoyable afternoon. We knew what Spennymoor would throw at us, and it's exactly what happened. We gave away a silly free kick which they scored from, and we made what should have been a fairly comfortable afternoon an uncomfortable one.

"It's a little bit worrying but we came here to win the game and we did that. We knew what we were going to get and they stuck to it. It was always going to be a difficult one because we haven't won here for however many months, and we weren't expecting Spennymoor to roll over and die. There were some positive performances but still things to improve.

"We gave them the opportunities but to be fair to the players, we intended to play at a tempo Spennymoor couldn't compete with. We were going to tire them out and make them struggle to play with us. For the first 15 minutes we did that and it's what won us the game."