KARL Robinson was an extremely angry man after Dons’ defeat to Plymouth on Monday - and took some of his frustration out on the club’s chairman after the game.
Whatever Pete Winkelman said to Robinson in the immediate aftermath of the 1-0 loss at Home Park, the Dons manager certainly didn’t appear to take it very well as he spoke critically of his chairman’s reaction in front of a group of supporters.
Robinson’s public outburst was heard by a handful of fans and autograph hunters near the team bus after Dons blew their chance to confirm a place in the League One play-offs. His comments were clearly made in the heat of the moment, but he also seemed determined to make a point. And while stopping short of speaking out in his formal post match press conference, he did refer to issues regarding “a money situation” at stadium:mk, and that not everyone was completely happy with his side’s performance in Devon.
When the point was made to him that Dons were unlucky to lose to relegation threatened Argyle - and to Huddersfield on Good Friday - Robinson’s reaction seemed to speak volumes when he said: “I’m glad to think some people think we dominated the game.”
One Dons fan who overheard Robinson’s comments said: “He was obviously seething when he came out afterwards and had to be taken aside and calmed down before he came back to apologise. Something the chairman had said obviously riled him. As a fan, I was disappointed to lose, but I thought we played well, and against Huddersfield too actually.”
Robinson has seen his popularity amongst Dons fans increase throughout the season as his side got themselves to within touching distance of the automatic promotion places. Only a dramatic turnaround in fortunes will now see them miss out on the play-offs, but Robinson and the club are yet to agree terms on a new contract, with his 12 month rolling deal set to expire in less than two weeks.
Such a successful campaign with a team largely made up last year’s squad and some pretty shrewd free transfers, must surely be enough for Winkelman to slide a new deal across the table.
It’s thought Robinson’s current contract expires on May 10 - five days before Dons’ likely play-off semi-final first leg. They will confirm their place in those play-offs with a win over Notts County on Saturday.
In response, Robinson offered an apology to those fans who witnessed his outburst in the following statement.
He said “I’m extremely passionate about what I do for this football club, which is one of the reasons why the chairman hired me. Unfortunately on Monday it got the better of me and in the heat of the moment a number of fans heard me letting off steam. I apologise if my comments caused offence.
“The players and staff gave me everything they had at Plymouth, and their commitment to the cause could not be questioned. We can’t wait to be back out at stadium:mk on Saturday with our play-off dream in our own hands.”