Dons players 'a little bit concerned' as manager hunt goes on

Richie Barker admitted the MK Dons players are concerned about the length of time it is taking to bring in a new manager to the club.

Thursday, 10th November 2016, 12:22 pm
Updated Wednesday, 16th November 2016, 5:15 pm
Richie Barker admitted his players are 'a little concerned' as the hunt for a new managers enters a third week.

Following Karl Robinson's departure on October 23, chairman Pete Winkelman said he wouldn't be rushed into a decision, adding a new appointment might not be installed at the club until the end of November.

Barker will remain in caretaker charge for this Saturday's League 1 game against Walsall, and said while the players are happy in the short term for him to be taking the team, they're growing concerned about the long term.

He said: "At the moment, I'd say they are a still a little bit concerned in terms of the long term future, but in the short term, they're happy. We're just getting on with it. They knew I'd be taking training on Thursday and they were fairly sure I'd be in charge for Saturday's game.

"Of course there will be some kind of concern because we aren't in pre-season where a lot of time can be take, and we're not in midtable where it's fairly safe a couple of weeks either way.

"And I can appreciate fans looking down rather than up. But we've got to concentrate on getting away from the bottom of the table and towards the middle.

"It would be daft of me to be sitting here and talking about play-offs because we're closer to the bottom than the top. But our aim is to get out of the bottom section and into the middle. If someone else takes on the baton from there, then that's fine.

"We are well aware that failure to pick up a result at the weekend could result in us dropping into the bottom four.

"We're just focusing on the next game. The Checkatrade Trophy was a welcome distraction really. It allowed the first team players who weren't involved a chance to train really hard on Tuesday morning, and everyone else a different focus in the evening."

Having already taken charge of three matches in his caretaker capacity, Barker could be in charge of as many as seven games - five weeks - by the time a new man is appointed. Having acted as Robinson's assistant for two-and-a-half years, Barker admitted there are similarities in the way his side would line up, but says he's making subtle changes to what had been the status quo under the former boss.

"The one thing that made my time here with Karl relatively successful was our shared ideas of philosophy and how the game should be played," he said. "We had the same idea in terms of shape, formations and how to counter others, and recruitment too.

"I'm as happy with this squad as he was, so there's a sense that we created this together. But now there's a sense of doing it the way I'd do it, but there's not a lot different to the way we did it together."