Business as usual for Barker after Dons defeat

Richie Barker. Pic: Lee Scriven
Richie Barker. Pic: Lee Scriven
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Dons caretaker manager Richie Barker will continue as normal next week until he is told otherwise as the club's search for a manager continues.

Barker oversaw Dons' 2-1 defeat to Sheffield United at Bramall Lane on Saturday following Karl Robinson's departure from the club last Sunday.

Having ruled himself out of contention for the top job, Barker said he will remain in charge until the chairman tells him otherwise, insisting the club must make the right choice, not the fastest one when it comes to picking a new manager.

"It's important to get the right person to continue the good work that has already been done," he said. "If it takes an extra three or four days, then so be it.

"Anyone who would have been interested in the game should have been here today, and if no decision is made, they'll be at the game next week too. In terms of the long term, they have to get the right person.

"There's not a league game for two weeks so it buys the club some time in essence. It's important not to rush it and get the wrong person.

"I'll be going in next week, but I'm sure I'll have a chat with the chairman in the next couple of days. If at any point he tells me not to come in, so be it.

"But I'll be starting the preparations for the FA Cup game next week and then go from there. That's football, it is what it is and we get on with it. Decisions are made at times, you accept it and move on."

There was little Barker could do to change Dons' fortunes on the pitch though. Falling behind to Stefan Scougall's opener after just four-and-a-half minutes at Bramall Lane, Dons looked unlikely to get back in it until Darren Potter's 49th minute strike gave them something to cling on to.

But after switching off at the back, Billy Sharp tapped home in the 63rd minute to win it for the Blades, sending Dons to 20th in League 1.

Barker said: "I think most Sheffield United fans wouldn't feel too aggrieved leaving here with a 1-1 draw today. I think everyone should be disappointed not to have anything from this game.

"This was two very good teams trying to play football in the right way, the chances were limited, but unfortunately it summed up our season - fantastic effort but it was too easy to score goals against us, but I'm not just talking about the back four and the keeper. When you've got people around the box like Billy Sharp who has been there, done it and got the t-shirt, we didn't create enough.

"But we made a team change shape after 20 minutes to deal with us and that's testament to us.

"We owed it to the fans who turned up to know the players were playing with pride. It has been a hard week, but they've been excellent in training. And they have done everything I've asked of them except the obvious which was to keep the ball out.

"They weren't great goals and very much avoidable."