Dons have never gotten over Karl Robinson's sacking

Pete Winkelman and Karl Robinson
Pete Winkelman and Karl Robinson

MK Dons are still living in the shadow of former boss Karl Robinson, but need to get over it with their new managerial appointment.

The MK Dons chairman is already fielding applications for his third managerial search in 18 months after parting company with Dan Micciche on Sunday after three months in charge.

Robinson is Dons' longest serving manager, a stalwart at Stadium MK for six-and-a-half years, guiding them to promotion in 2015 before being sacked in October 2016.

His replacement Robbie Neilson lasted 14 months in charge before making way for Micciche in January, but now Winkelman must look for another manager.

But the chairman believes Robinson still casts a big shadow at Stadium MK, and his legacy is something the club has to get over if they are to move on.

He said: "We have never gotten over Karl Robinson leaving, the way he left. We never got over it and we have got to. We need someone to come in and gets rid of that past, looks to the future and the team he's going to build for this club. When I find that guy, and he brings that success, I'll work hard to keep him. We have to find him, but I can't guarantee it's the next appointment. We won't win every game, but we know what a successful team looks like. And that's what we need to look for."

Robinson with another former Dons boss Martin Allen

Robinson with another former Dons boss Martin Allen

Winkelman believes the mistakes made in the last two managerial appointments will put him in a better position for the next appointment, especially now he has time to make sure it's right.

"We've got the summer now to put it right," he added. "Appointing a manager in the middle of the season very rarely works. And with the transfer windows the way they are now, you cannot afford to throw one away. There isn't a right or wrong way. It's about time and place.

"Dan ticked every box in terms of unifying the place, bringing the vibe back and the love back, but the last time we were in this level of crisis, I went to a guy who knew the lower leagues backwards, and that was Martin Allen. And though he didn't get us promoted, he did make us competitive and gave us a basis of a team to get promoted under Paul Ince."