Karl Robinson wishes he had kept striker Jabo Ibehre after yet another former player scored against his MK Dons side this week.
Dubbed ‘the curse,’ seven former Dons players have scored against them this season: Sam Baldock (Bristol City), Lewis Guy and David Amoo (Carlisle), Ryan Lowe (Tranmere), Filipe Morais (Stevenge), Ibehre (Colchester) and most recently Charlie MacDonald, who scored for Oldham in Dons’ 2-1 at Boundary Park on Tuesday night.
In regards to Lowe, MacDonald and Ibehre, the trio were still part of Robinson’s squad as recently as last January.
But while Lowe ended as joint-top goal scorer at stadium:mk last season, Robinson says he would’ve like to keep hold of Ibehre who left for Colchester after a loan spell with the club last season.
He said: “When you look at all the strikers who have left, the one you might look at is Jabo Ibehre because of what he brought to the club. He was a big, strong man. He’s the one I wish I’d have kept.
“We thought we could replace him, and we did with Izale McLeod.
“But I think we probably miss Jabo.”
Since leaving, MacDonald has scored five times for Oldham and Ibehre has added seven for Colchester, while Lowe has hit the net 17 times for Tranmere this season.
Robinson though believes for the most part, the former players raise their game against Dons.
He said: “When you look at the goal record of the players who have moved on, it’s not as good as when they were here.
“We maybe got the best out of them and against us, maybe they try that bit harder. I don’t remember when Charlie MacDonald’s last goal was, but he’s a smashing lad.
“And I didn’t lose Sam Baldock on purpose! He was one I wanted to keep. But when you get offered £2 million for a player, it’s hard to turn your cheek.
“I don’t mind so much if they score and we win. It’s when they score the winning goal that’s more disappointing for me.”
And although Robinson stops short of looking down the opposition team-sheets to find which former player could come back to haunt him, he admits he’s familiar with a similar curse from early in his Dons career.
He said: “In my first year, Dale Jennings was a curse at Tranmere, Thomas Ince scored his first goal. In the first year, I was getting scored against by all the kids I’d coached so I must be doing something right!”