Barker knows what he’s doing says banned boss Robbo

Richie Barker
Richie Barker

Karl Robinson has full faith in Richie Barker to take over on the touchline while he serves his FA ban.

The Dons boss was handed a four-match suspension on Thursday for use of abusive language towards a Bradford City player back in September - the first of those games is on Saturday against Barnsley.

Barker though is no stranger to leading from the sidelines, having spent spells in charge at Bury, Portsmouth and Crawley Town before taking over as Head of Coaching at stadium:mk.

Robinson looks set to spend Saturday’s match in the director’s box above the dugouts, but says he has faith in Barker, and will be in constant contact from on high.

“Richie has been a manager, he knows what it’s all about,” said Robinson. “I’ll be in constant contact, and we’ll communicate as we usually do, only he’ll be down on the touchline and I’ll be in the stand.

“My day-to-day running won’t change, it’ll be just as intense as ever. I’ll just need the fans more. They’ll play a big part.

“I don’t know how long I’ll be able to sit down for, but I’ll try and plot a different way to win a football match.

“I still want to clap the fans at the end, but we’ve got to ask the FA - I don’t want to make my ban worse or longer than it is. We need to get an answer back from them.”

Since Barker joined the club, initially on a temporary basis in March last year before making the move permanent in the summer, he has, according to Robinson, made a huge contribution to the way the side are performing out on the pitch.

And with Barker’s prior experience, the manager isn’t worried about letting his number two lead the line for the next three weeks.

Robinson said: “He’s been down there on his own many, many times. I’m not too worried about how it’s going to go.

“Having Richie here has made a big difference. He’s has made a huge contribution to the club, and if you ask the players, he’s a massive part of what we’re trying to do.

“I couldn’t do this without him.”