Robinson won’t gamble on free agents

Matt Upson was a free agent when he signed for MK Dons last season, but spent most of his time in the stands

Matt Upson was a free agent when he signed for MK Dons last season, but spent most of his time in the stands

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Karl Robinson may delve into the free agency market to bolster his squad but insists he will only bring players in to play, not sit in the stands.

Dons saw deals for strikers fall through their fingers on deadline day last week, and are left with just one recognised centre forward in Nicky Maynard on their books.

And with the loan market also locked down, clubs are restricted to free agents between now and January if they are to bring anyone in.

“We’re looking, but the sport is so big,” he said. “The net is far greater and wider than ever before. But if there are players out there, we’ll look under every stone we can.

“We have to find the right ones, but the problem is likely that they won’t have had a pre-season so then you bring in someone who won’t be ready for six weeks.

“It depends whether they’re fit and what stage at what stage they’re at in their career.”

Last season, Dons gambled on the fitness of veteran defender Matt Upson from the free agency pool. The then 36-year-old defender managed just seven appearances during his year-long spell at Stadium MK - a gamble Robinson admits didn’t pay off.

He said: “We tried it with Matt Upson and it showed it didn’t work. I still believe he was one of the best centre halves we’ve ever had here, but there’s no point in having a Premier League centre half when he’s sitting in the stands.

“We have to find someone fit and able, whatever position that may be.”