JANUARY sees the re-opening of the transfer window, but while Sky Sports News may be awaiting the last minute deals and big stories, Dons will not be dusting off their chequebook.
Dons boss Karl Robinson has admitted all season that he has little to no money to spend on bolstering his side for the final play-off push.
And with last season’s top scorer Jermaine Easter on loan to Swansea, and Angelo Balanta suffering a long-term injury, it has left numbers thin on the ground on the training pitches of Woughton.
“Everybody wants to bring in players and wants to improve,” Robbo said. “But we’re realistic about what we can and what we cannot do.
“I know the position that we are in so we just have to work harder than any other club to make sure that everyone we have got here steps up to the plate.”
With injuries, suspensions and loans taken into account, Dons will be without seven players for Saturday’s League One clash against Oldham - and it’s already a squad smaller than most teams in the division.
But unfortunately for Robbo, he does not think that recalling players he has out on loan is an option available to him, hinting that they may not be returning to the club at all.
“I don’t think the likes of Luke Howell or Jermaine Easter can come back,” he said. “They have gone out for reasons and we’ll see how that goes, before assessing our situation again in January. It’s a tough time for an awful lot of football clubs.
“Our ambitions are still the same but we’ve got to do right by the football club.”
So for now at least Robbo is limited to what he has in his current arsenal. But despite the lack of change on the horizon - and Dons down to 14th place in the table with just two wins from 10 games - the manager is still confident that his current crop of players will come good and reverse the bad run of form they find themselves in.
The boss has promised fans that things will turn around, although a big change in results may not happen immediately, meaning he’ll need to rely on the patience of Dons supporters as well as his chairman.
“I’m not stupid - I know there are people who questioned me getting the job, or people who said it wasn’t the right decision,” said Robinson.
“But there are also a hardcore of fans who come to me and give me so much support, and without them, my job wouldn’t be possible.
“When the fans sing your name here, it gives you great pride, and it means a lot to me to keep them happy.
“We will turn it round, we will get it right, we will play a brand of football that is pleasing on the eye with an attacking style.
“Wait until we get the players we want here and they adapt to the way we want to play - it’ll be great. It may be a long way off yet, but we’re planning and preparing.”
Dons face high-flying Oldham at stadium:mk and they’re not used to losing on home soil. Last time out Sheffield Wednesday destroyed the club’s unbeaten home record in the league, just days after Stevenage knocked them out of the FA Cup.
The winless run currently stands at four matches, but Robbo believes that home form is something that will be the benchmark for his side, having still only lost one league game in MK this season.
He said: “One defeat was on penalties, so we’ve only really lost three games in seven over the 90 minutes.
“Two of those were against two of the best teams in the league, which they have since gone on and proven, and then Notts County at the weekend where we felt we should have come back with something.
“I didn’t get carried away when we won three games in a row and we were joint third, and I won’t now. But when you’re without your best four players, you don’t win football matches. Without Jermaine Easter, Sam Baldock, Angelo Balanta and Sean O’Hanlon not available, it does become more difficult. But even without them, we looked the better team and passed the ball well.
“The Oldham game is just as important as any other this season. We don’t go into games treating them differently having lost the last one, two, or three.
“We take it just as the next game and we prepare better than most teams in this league. We must take the game by the scruff of the neck and win.”