Will the class of 2015 survive life in the Championship?

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The celebrations and jubilation of securing promotion may still be fresh in everyone’s minds, but Karl Robinson has a big task on his hands - building a squad capable of surviving the Championship.

The current crop of players will forever be idolised by MK Dons fans. Almost every member played their part at one stage or another during the season with their inputs helping Dons to snatch second place at the very death.

Will Grigg

Will Grigg

But the Championship is, quite literally, a different level of football. And there will be no room for sentimentality if Dons want to survive for longer than a season.

Robinson’s shopping list is simple: “I need six players,” he said. “Two strikers, two wingers, two midfield players.”

And that is probably the bare minimum on his wish list before the new season kicks off in August.

As reality kicks in, the squad stands at the moment, it is not good enough to deal with life in the Championship.

Danny Green

Danny Green

The striker situation is, plainly, the most obvious issue to address currently, because there isn’t a man to lead the line as yet.

Will Grigg is probably perched on the top of Robinson’s wish list (see back page), but there will naturally be contingencies in line ready to pull on the number nine shirt for a season in the Championship.

The one striker Dons do own in Tom Hitchcock still has age on his side and was tipped for big things last season, but barely made a ripple in the pool when it came to playing in the first team - perhaps overshadowed by Benik Afobe and Will Grigg, perhaps not living up to expectations.

Inconsistencies from the wide areas too need to be eradicated. The ‘hit and miss’ form of Daniel Powell, and the injury prone Dean Bowditch might not be enough for warrant a regular first team start, though Carl Baker’s performances since signing for the club in September have earned him a new deal for next season.

Tom Hitchcock

Tom Hitchcock

And without Dele Alli, Dons have lost another 16 goals from their side, which has already seen 40-odd leave through Grigg and Afobe.

Defensively, Dons will probably survive with what they have, Joe Walsh expected to sign on a permanent basis. Robinson may still seek cover for the talismanic, but slowing, skipper Dean Lewington.

With the end of the season now come and gone, the manager admitted last week that contract talks are back underway with some of the nine players whose deals are up this month.

Player of the Year Baker has already put pen to paper on a new deal last week, while there are talks of several others set for extensions before too long.

Robinson though will have to be cut-throat, and a crowd favourite or two might find themselves either consigned to the bench, or shown the exit door if the club aren’t going to yo-yo.

Bit-part players last season - the likes of Mark Randall, Tom Flanagan, the afore mentioned Hitchcock, Danny Green et al - may well be sweating on their roles next season, particularly after playing small roles in a League 1 campaign, and must be under Robinson’s microscope as he looks to chop, change and save up for the players who will make of more of an impact.

With Robinson’s pockets likely to be lined rather than bulging this summer, expect movements in the loan market to be his biggest source of headline-grabbing signings.

Many people wondered whether he could pull another rabbit out of the hat after losing Patrick Bamford 18 months ago, but he did so with aplomb in signing Grigg and Afobe - the latter taking to the Championship like a duck to water in the second half of last season.

Recruitment began in earnest last season, and Dons’ early moves in the market seemed to pay dividends.

But fishing in a new pond, Dons will be looking to lure a different quality of fish. And Robinson will want a catch sooner rather than later to spark another successful summer.