Chairman Winkelman 'amazed' as more than 200 applicants stake their claim for MK Dons job

Mk Dons chairman Pete Winkelman
Mk Dons chairman Pete Winkelman

MK Dons chairman Pete Winkelman says he has been 'amazed' at the amount of people contacting the club over the vacant managerial post.

Since Karl Robinson's departure on Sunday, more than 200 people have shown their interest in applying for the post at Stadium MK, with Winkelman admitting he has 'never known anything like it'.

Winkelman is no stranger to hiring managers and coaches, but it's not something he has had to do since 2010 and he admits the interest in taking charge of the Sky Bet League One strugglers has taken him aback.

"I have never known anything like it," said Winkelman,

"I have quite a lot of experience in terms of managerial changes, and I am shocked by how many people we have had applying.

"I think the difference now to six years ago is that football has become so global, so international, and there are so many more people that throw their hat in the ring that you don't even know of, or you may have heard of them vaguely.

"Then there are your usual suspects and I have been amazed at the response.

"It has made me look at things slightly differently because it is not the beginning of the season and it is not a planned thing.

"This time I really have to look at what the market has got there, because it's maybe one of our new managers from nowhere ideas, and if we had the time that is certainly something we would be looking at.

"Equally though it might be somebody with experience this time, because we cannot be where we are and we have to do something about it, we have to learn to win again."

Winkelman outlined the process that faces him over the next few days, and said: "At the moment we are still collating names.

"I am not exaggerating the amount of names, and what we are going to do is let the names come in today and then probably by tomorrow (Weds) we will then start to really look at what we've got.

"Hopefully this weekend we can make some decisions about who we then take forward to interview, and then interview some people next week.

"If something goes well we could then maybe make a decision a early as the end of next week, but I am not going to rush it.

"It is absolutely massive that I get this right, and it is not a time you would choose to do it.

"It's not at a time where you have a pre-season and everything, you are straight into the thick of it.

"But nothing is out of the question."

Winkelman says the culture of defeat around Stadium MK has to change, and speaking on TalkSPORT he pointed to the example of Neil Warnock going in at Rotherham United to rescue their Championship campaign last season.

"Once a team starts losing it is awfully difficult to turn that around sometimes," said the Dons chairman.

"You try and make changes as we did in the summer, and you think 'that can change the mentality', but sometimes the only way to change the mentality is to change the culture and change what is happening around the players on a day-to-day basis.

"We saw that so effectively with one of our rivals Rotherham last season. They made a chane towards the end of the season that saved them, and relegated us.

"It's not been easy, but as the chairman I had to take the responsibility."