While the FA Cup whirlwind will take centre stage in Milton Keynes prior to Sunday’s fourth round game against Chelsea, there’s still a little matter of the transfer window to keep Karl Robinson occupied.
This Thursday evening, Robinson and the MK Dons directors will be locked away in the boardroom, setting out their plans and wish lists to put together a strategy of how to use the next four days to strengthen the squad.
With fans desperate for news of a new face, more specifically a new striker, it may be a long wait with Robinson keen not to waste money on a last minute panic buy.
But with the window closing on Monday, Robinson is also wary he cannot wait more time.
“We’ve got a board meeting tonight and we’re really going to get some things over the line or not, or whether we’re in competition with other clubs.
“We’ll talk about ones I want to come in and ones I want to go out. We’ve gone down a few blind alleys recently.
“The biggest difficulty has been trying to improve our squad. Previously, the top players in League 1 have wanted to come here. Now in the Championship, attracting them is harder. And it’s difficult because of the cost implications too.
“But we’ve got this meeting and we’ll see how it goes.”
One new, yet familiar face Robinson will have at his disposal from Sunday will be George Baldock.
The 22-year-old returns to stadium:mk having spent the last 12 months on loan at Oxford United. Robinson alerted U’s boss Michael Appleton he planned to recall Baldock at the beginning of January to give his opposite plenty of time to find a replacement.
Baldock’s return to stadium:mk though could spell the end of time for Lee Hodson.
The Northern Ireland defender will be keen to cement a spot in Michael O’Neill’s squad ahead of the European Championships in the summer, but with first team opportunities at Dons limited, Hodson could be forced to look elsewhere.
Robinson said: “Lee really needs to play if he has Euro aspirations, so he may have to look elsewhere for game time. It’s not something we’re overly keen to do, but that’s not why we brought George back. He’s back to compete
“If that’s how Lee feels, and that’s where Lee is, then it’s something he has to play somewhere else.”