‘Not Dons’ objective to win FA Cup’ says Robbo

FA Cup fourth round. 'MK Dons V Chelsea. PNL-160131-192018002
FA Cup fourth round. 'MK Dons V Chelsea. PNL-160131-192018002

Karl Robinson won’t lose much sleep over the 5-1 defeat to Chelsea at stadium:mk on Sunday.

In a team littered with stars, the champions were ruthless in front of goal as Oscar opened the scoring, only to get pegged back by a surprise Darren Potter goal. But the Brazilian went on to complete his first half hat-trick, before an Eden Hazard and a Bertand Traore strike completed the rout in the second half.

FA Cup fourth round. 'MK Dons V Chelsea. PNL-160131-191947002

FA Cup fourth round. 'MK Dons V Chelsea. PNL-160131-191947002

For Dons, simply being part of the occasion - and subsequent payday - was enough, with far bigger fish to fry in the coming weeks.

“We’ve got bigger games coming up here,” said Robinson afterwards. “They might not have the same glitz and glamour, but our objective was never to win the FA Cup or Chelsea, it was to get a big draw and see where it takes us.

“We’ve got a big period in the league now, and we have to concentrate on that.”

Guus Hiddink named an extremely strong squad for the fourth round tie, keen not only to salvage some silverware from a torrid season but also to keep a consistency in his side, who have only recently found a purple patch of form.

It meant starts for world stars like Eden Hazard, Cesc Fabregas, Oscar and Diego Costa - and it proved too much for Dons.

Robinson said: “From the team sheets, we knew what was going to happen. It was probably the most scared I’ve been!

“Chelsea hit the ground running recently and have turned a corner and they had to pick a team what continue that. They were absolutely outstanding.

“Chelsea showed why they were champions of England last year. That team, perhaps without Loftus-Cheek, was their strongest team last year. When they won the Premier League, as they had done today, it shows my players couldn’t do much more.

“It was exciting watching it. We’ll use it as a learning curve. We’ve seen what ball rotation, speed and a real intensity can bring.

“It was a really good week, taking our attention away from the league. It has been a tremendous experience for everybody.

“My players have put in a good shift, but this was a bridge too far for us. For once, I don’t think we can be criticised for it.”

While stopping short of naming names, the Dons boss admitted there were a few things he could take from the game, including knowing who had to do better.

“One or two of my players could have done better, but I thought David Martin was outstanding and Joe Walsh was excellent.

“But there were elements I was disappointed with and I’ll put it right. Certain people know they weren’t on form today. But I won’t point fingers, and I don’t want to go down that route.

“We can look at elements of our play, but it’s one we just have to take on the chin. It was a nice thing to get a goal though.”

And on the eve of the transfer window closing, Dons fans may be left disappointed as the manager confirmed there were no immediate transfer targets in his sights, but he said he’d be a busy man tomorrow.

“There aren’t any targets now, but we’re focussed on that now, 100 per cent. I don’t think many agents will be picking their phones up tonight.”