Keeper McLoughlin ‘hasn’t worked’ for Dons

Ian McLoughlin. Pic: Jane Russell.
Ian McLoughlin. Pic: Jane Russell.

Ian McLoughlin’s future at MK Dons could be in doubt after a shaky spell between the sticks.

The former Irish U21 international keeper has played the last six games in the absence of David Martin, but has had a torrid time of things.

Ian had the opportunity to go in and prove himself, but it just hasn’t worked for whatever reason.

Karl Robinson

Dons have conceded 10 goals in that time, and lost four times - a slump which has seen them drop from second to fourth in the table.

Robinson was on the brink of signing another goalkeeper to replace McLoughlin ahead of the game against Preston last Saturday, but the deal fell through at the 11th hour.

Though with Martin likely to be back fit for Saturday’s visit to Walsall, manager Karl Robinson admitted the secondary goalkeeper situation needs to be rectified in the summer.

“Ian had the opportunity to go in and prove himself but it just hasn’t worked for whatever reason,” he said. “He came in a few years ago and it did work. He’s just having one of those moments. Every footballer has them. But in the way we play, it has affected us more than we thought. We play out from back to front.

“We’d like to think that we need to get that right in forthcoming seasons, and the person who comes in is the right person to push David Martin, and make sure he’s challenging for the number 1 shirt.

“We’re always looking to strengthen. If Ian does what it says on the tin, he’s a very accomplished goalkeeper. But if he doesn’t, next year the club will have to move forward - and that’s the same in every position.”

The manager though hasn’t ruled out giving McLoughlin a second chance though. Although his contract it up at the end of the season, Robinson believes the 23-year-old will bounce back if he can walk the walk, as well as talk the talk.

He said: “When we signed him he was an Ireland U21 international. Ian has always believed he’s as good as what we’ve got. He has tremendous belief in himself. Technically, he does really well in training.

“Ian’s going to have to work extremely hard to get back. Sometimes when you lack confidence, it’s not just about self-belief and talking it, you have to walk it as well.

“I think a lot of people say a lot of things but can’t carry it out. He needs to make sure that if he’s going to say things, he needs to work hard to get over it.”