Harley deal was likely even before injury crisis

Ryan Harley celebrates his goal for Brighton against Peterborough. Pic: Simon Dack
Ryan Harley celebrates his goal for Brighton against Peterborough. Pic: Simon Dack

RYAN Harley was likely to join MK Dons regardless of the injury crisis now settling in at stadium:mk.

Karl Robinson has Stephen Gleeson and Luke Chadwick as long term casualties, while Dean Bowditch looks set to miss the FA Cup third round meeting with Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday with a groin injury.

But while Harley comes in from Brighton just in time to plug the hole left by the injured trio, the 27-year-old said a move was already on the cards.

“Even before all of the injuries, I had a chance of coming here,” he said. “At this time of the season, you always need bulk the squad up with players you want. The gaffer has spoken to my agent on numerous occasions so it’s good we finally got it done.

“I’ve played against Dons numerous times – it’s a impressive club, stadium, pitch and the manager too.

“I don’t mind where I play, I just like to get on the ball and play with good footballers, which looks like is going to happen here.

“I knew a lot of the lads because I’ve played against them, and everyone knows everyone in football, so it has been quite easy to settle in. I’ve enjoyed my first game and I’m looking forward to the next few months here.”

Thrown in at the deep end, Harley made his debut for the club on New Year’s Day away at Notts County, and set up the first goal, picking out Darren Potter to head in after just six minutes.

And the midfielder was pleased to have made an impact at the notoriously tough Meadow Lane.

He said: “This is a tough place to come, and not many come here and get a win. It was a tough game but I enjoyed it.

“It was tough to play as much football as we’d have like out there, but we showed what we’re all about.

“It was a difficult pitch, it was quite hard but quite boggy in places too, but it was just nice to get playing again.”