THERE are a lot of things on Karl Robinson’s Christmas list this year - festive period victories, a few new faces in Januaryand a state-of-the-art training ground to match stadium:mk.
With sub-zero temperatures sweeping the city this week, Dons have been forced to train on the stadium:mk pitch rather than at Woughton on the Green.
Countless times in the past, chairman Pete Winkelman has admitted publically that with more experience, he’d have concentrated on building a state-of-the-art training facility for his club to use ahead of a stadium.
Plans to build something at the National Bowl are beginning to gain pace, but Robinson admits that there are still a lot of things that need to fall into place before the club can consider moving their operations across town.
He said: “I know the chairman is having sleepless nights over the training ground because he wants it. It’s where we spend most of our time.
“It’s essential to get a new training ground. Our biggest problem is because of the clay base, and we get a lot of our hamstring injuries because of that.
“In the summer, it becomes so hard and in the winter it gets so soft. When you come from the soft ground and go onto the hard match pitches, it’s like going from a beach to running a road marathon.
“You can see how much we’ve improved behind the scenes at stadium:mk and we want a training ground of the same standard.
“But you cannot just click your fingers and make things happen. There are an awful lot of people who have to move out of the way and deals that have to be signed for it happen.
“I know he’s working so hard to try and make all the deals come off, and I know that once the chairman has something in his sights, he sets his teeth into it and doesn’t let go.
“He’ll work just as hard to get the club into a new training ground as he did to get the club into this fantastic stadium he built.
“I don’t think it’s be too far away. I know there’s plans drawn up.
“It’s my dream to one day drive down the path to our own training ground, with out name and badge above the gates.”
So while he may have to wait for one of his Christmas presents, Robinson is looking forward to some festive football.
With Dons playing four games in eight days over Christmas, Robinson is taking the unique approach of giving his players time with their families on December 25 rather than forcing them into a training session.
He said: “I think it’s important to give the players Christmas Day off because one training session off isn’t going to have a huge effect on them. We will work hard on Christmas Eve, and I trust them to do their own work at home.
“It’s nice. Christmas is a fantastic time of year, it’s a time to spend with your loved ones and gives you time to reflect on the year just gone.
“It helps that our two games after Christmas are at home. We’ve not had many Boxing Day games at home and hopefully it gets the fans through the doors.
“But before now and Christmas, we’ve got two important games against Hartlepool and Doncaster – my wife can worry about Christmas, it’s my job to worry about these games!”