Hundred up for Robinson - but he wants more

Karl Robinson
Karl Robinson

Karl Robinson reached triple figures when he watched MK Dons beat AFC Wimbledon last week - his 100th competitive win.

The manager, who has now kicked off his fifth season in charge at stadium:mk, can boast a 45 per cent win ratio from his 225 matches in charge, but he aims for the next 99 (with his 101st victory coming on Tuesday night against Chesterfield) to come much quicker.

“I think we have a 45 per cent win ratio - not many can claim that at one club,” Robinson said. “I don’t want to be someone who wins and goes. Are there quicker ways to the Premier League? Probably, but is it more exciting? No.

“Let’s hope the next part of our journey is as strong as the previous one was. Hopefully we’ve got the blocks in place now, and the next 100 should come quicker. We’ll see how it goes.

“I’m not complacent though. Sometimes happiness and contentness can breed complacency.

“Everyday, I get out of bed and get in my car and I’m excited to come to work. Six seasons I’ve been here, as an assistant and then manager. There have been bad days, I’ve had cold and flu, I’ve had depressing days. I still work just as long as I did on day one.”

The 33-year-old described the first 100 wins as the first chapter of his time with the club.

Countless times, Robinson has been linked with moves away from stadium:mk for jobs in the Championship, to ply his trade at a higher level.

But recently, Robinson has bought a new house in Milton Keynes, his wife and daughter are settled in the area, and it is somewhere Robinson is proud to call home.

So naturally, he hopes that he will be celebrating his 200th win with MK Dons.

Mk Dons v Chesterfield

Mk Dons v Chesterfield

He said: “If I was writing the book, I’d want it to be here. I don’t want to go anywhere. I’m happy. I live here, my house is here. I’m really happy working here, and you can’t turn your nose up at that sometimes.

“I know the club inside and out. I know the pressures, I understand the fans’ pressure, I get it. I’d love the next 99 to be here.”

During his time with the club, many things have changed.

For one, the stadium has finally been completed. Dons remain in League 1, but they have become renowned for their attractive, passing style of play - and that style, Robinson hopes, will lay down a legacy for many years to come.

Mk Dons v Chesterfield

Mk Dons v Chesterfield

“I think our style has become symbolic with MK Dons. People talk about our style and youth department. That’s what drives me on.

“I see what the chairman sees, but I also see what others don’t. It’s my job to open their eyes so they can see what we’re trying to do.

“Kids in MK should be excited because, if you’re good enough and from here, one day you could be playing for us. We want kids from MK playing in our first team. Now, every kid has a dream. I hope I’m part of that.”

There have been a lot of good memories that have come during his 225 games.

He said: “The AFC game will go down in my life forever and a day, and the QPR win. But the finest 45 minutes was Peterborough in the play-offs here, and Huddersfield away in the play-offs. There have been so many.

“My best time was probably the beginning of year two, when we were sensational. It was before Sam Baldock left. We beat Chesterfield 6-2, and then we went to Carrow Road and beat Norwich 4-0. If I could’ve kept Sam, or if I could’ve brought in two strikers instead of one, we could have had a real good go. Powell was on fire, Bowditch was on fire, Potter and Gleeson were on it, Chadwick was really at it, and we had Sam.”

But his biggest regret was letting go a fan favourite.

He said: “The biggest disappointment was losing Jabo Ibehre. I made a massive mistake letting him go. I was carried away with our style. He didn’t fit in with it, but I now know you need something different.

“I’ve got to be honest - I made a big mistake there and I have to admit that. He would’ve been key in some games.”

But for the first time, probably in his tenure at stadium:mk, Robinson has options in every position on the field.

With three strikers, a vastly talented midfield, three goalkeepers and time in the transfer window to hunt down perhaps a couple of defensive heads, things are looking positive for the season ahead.

However, Robinson admits if he’d have been able to keep hold of a handful of his stars who have already made the step up, he’d have the makings of title contenders.

He said: “It’s not the best squad I’ve had, but it’s the happiest, strongest and most together. There have been some good squad here.

“If you added Gary MacKenzie in this squad, bring Sam Baldock into this squad, keep Shaun Williams and Stephen Gleeson with Darren Potter and Dele Alli - you’re getting there. If I could add those, that’s a team that should be competing.

“But my team in there is looking good and competing well.

“We can either have Will Grigg or Benik Afobe on the bench, Tom Hitchcock is there, Mark Randall is in fine form, George Baldock came on and did a great job, Powell, Bowditch, Green plus one more I hope. Samir Carruthers could be back this weekend, Ben Reeves or Giorgio Rasulo, who has been doing a great job. Ian McLoughlin came on the other day too.

“I’ve never had that before. It makes life easy!”