Pete tells fans not to worry about Robbo’s future

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CHAIRMAN Pete Winkelman stopped short of confirming that talks were ongoing with Karl Robinson, but hinted that plans were in the pipeline over an extended contract to keep him at the club.

With Dons in a healthy fifth place in League One, fans have been calling for the rookie manager to be given a new deal to fend off any potential suitors who may have their eye on the youngest boss in the Football League. But Winkelman believes that Robinson has a unique trait over his predecessors who have left stadium:mk in recent years.

“What is really valuable about Karl, and why he’s a little different to the others, is that he gets Milton Keynes,” he said. “MK is an unusual place - not everyone’s cup of tea - and not a normal football city.

“So you need somebody special who understands that, and in Karl, part of the success he’s having is because he does understand, and that is part of his charm and part of what is happening with this team.

“Every manager we have had in the last few years has attracted interest. But whenever any manager has left us, we have been adequately compensated, and I’m sure you’d expect us to be in a similar position.”

And after Monday’s excellent win over rivals Peterborough, Winkelman was full of praise for his manager and how the team have been performing since the turn of the year.

He said: “If you look at where we started the season, we had an ambition to be in and around the play-offs. Coming towards the end of March we are in the play-offs - but there is still a way to go and we have to achieve that. For a manager to achieve the target he sets for himself has to be good news all round.”

However, on the topic of Robinson’s contract, the chairman was a little more coy, but did hint that there were plans in place to keep him at Dons for next season and beyond.

“You know us - we don’t talk about anything until the business is done! Daniel Powell, we announced this week, has signed a new contract.

“Was there any doubt in my mind that we’d extend his contract a few months ago? No, but it takes some time to agree terms with the player and club. It’s the same with everybody.

“Can I confirm that I think Karl has done a magnificent job? I think that is clear from the way we are playing and our position in the table. We will just get to the end of the season and then make all the necessary announcements. And I hope they will be positive because it’s not about contracts, it’s about who wants to be here.

“I have a young manager in Karl who can afford to have a few years here. He understands Milton Keynes and I think that bodes well for the future.”

>> It has been a busy day on the playing front for Dons with one in and one out for Robinson.

Jude Stirling, who has spent most of the season on the sidelines with a groin injury, has joined the man who brought him to the club, Martin Allen, at League Two strugglers Barnet until the end of the season.

Also, 22-year-old Adam Clayton has been drafted in from Leeds to bolster Robinson’s options. The boss said the midfielder was a target of his for two years, and that Dons had beaten Huddersfield and Southampton for his signature.