Robbo’s got to be a wheeler and dealer

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The transfer window hasn’t even been open a week and yet it has been a very busy time for MK Dons.

From the offer of money from the chairman, to manager Karl Robinson accepting and then declining it, two players have already left the squad and more look set to follow.

It’s shaping up to be a different window for Robinson, but one that is just as busy for different reasons.

“January is going to be very tough,” he said.

“We’re going to see people going out first. Once I’ve got rid of the ones I want to get rid of, I will then sit back and look at what is achievable for us and how to improve our starting 11.”

While chopping and changing will free up money in his available budget this month, Robinson knows his shopping list is significantly different to the one he drew up a week-or-so ago.

But his needs are still exactly the same - a striker, a midfielder and a defender.

And his workload is still the same. He said: “I’ve spent hours on the phone already. It is very busy.

“We have to go out and find players who can come in, with Championship experience ideally, who can change things and drive us forward.

“It’s a balancing act to move players out, some coming in, spending a bit of money, doing a bit of this and a bit of that.

“It’s the balancing act which is the most difficult and stressful bit.”

Sometimes though, his job is made a bit easier.

“We get a number of people offering us players,” Robinson added.

“That helps financially because when they phone you, you can tell them how much you’re willing to pay rather than gong to someone and saying ‘can I have?’”

But what he wants and what he can get are much different, especially given his choice to forego the extra money he was offered.

“We want to be sustainable and competitive and those two words have to balance,” he explained..

“If you worry just about sustainability, it’ll affect the results, and similarly if you concentrate on the results, you affect the sustainability for future years.”