Some players let me down, admits Robbo

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Karl Robinson felt let down by the effort of some of his players in the 1-0 defeat to Port Vale on Good Friday.

After a game that once again only brought two chances on target for his side, Robinson admitted some of his players are only in the team because he has no other choice, with so many of his preferred line-up sidelined for the rest of the campaign through injury.

And with nothing left to play for in the remaining three games, Robinson admits some of his players are running on borrowed time.

“We want to be competing at the top end, but we’re still in the top half,” said Robinson. “It’s good to be disappointed to only be in the top half. The reigns will be off in the summer. I’ve got to build a squad. We’ve learned that the squad wasn’t good enough, but the team probably was.

“My mind was made up a few weeks ago, but some of them are lucky I’ve got no cards left to turn over. If I could twist, I certainly would. We’ve dealt our hand, and we’ve got to play with those cards until the end of the season.

“This journey of our club is unique, and that’s why I want to stay here. The journey is phenomenal. But for some, it’s time to jump off the bus. I care for the club, and so do some of the players but some don’t. We have to move on.”

As Dons struggled to create chances, Vale didn’t really create much in front of goal either, but Jordan Hugill capitalised on Alan Smith and David Martin’s moment of miscommunication to fire in the only goal of the game two minutes into the second half.

Robinson said: “We started brightly, we hit the bar, we missed one-on-ones, we just keep missing chances. I’m disappointed in the effort of some of the players, and some of them are on trial. I bet their agents call me in the next 24 hours.

“I understand we are without some big players today, but I’m trying to do work with some small make-up tools.

“We weren’t horrendous and we weren’t out-played here today, we just didn’t have enough zest in our play. We can’t keep blaming other obstacles.

“I’ve protected the players, but now it’s a case of looking at ourselves. I’ll look at myself, reassess and realign what we have to do.”

Rumours were rife in the week about the futures of Stephen Gleeson and Antony Kay - both of whom are out of contract at the end of the season.

Gleeson’s performance was certainly one of a man heading for the exit door, but Robinson hinted that Kay’s future may still lie at stadium:mk.

He said: “We lost Antony Kay (earlier in the season)and went on a horrific run. And now we’ve lost him for the last two games and we’ve been poor against teams in midtable.

“People don’t realise what he brings to the group. There’s a lot of components to it that we need to improve.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do. We’ve had two good years, an average year with an amazing cup run, and now a very average year.

“We’ve recruited poorly, and too young. We need to bring in some players who have been there, seen it, done it.

“Some of their heads might have been turned, I’m not sure.”