Karl Robinson is counting down the minutes until the summer when he can finally break open the MK Dons transfer kitty.
The January transfer window closed in undramatic fashion last Friday, with several doors slammed in Robinson’s face at the last moment as he looked to bring in a few fresh signings to bolster his squad.
But while fans in the stand might be cursing the lack of big names coming in, Robinson is happy to bide his time until the summer.
“The chairman has stuck to his word,” he said. “His plan is to get to a certain level, and we can’t be at this level for much longer.
“From what I’m hearing, we’ll be able to do some big business in the summer. And that’ll be a massive thing for me.
“There’s players I want to buy in the summer, and I’ve put my wishlist in to the chairman.
“It’ll cost us money, but we need to be prepared to do it.
“The chairman is ready to do that. And it really gives me a fighting chance.
“Next year, and January next year, you’ll start seeing the completion dates for all the construction around here, and we can start to see the business money taking shape. Then it’ll be a bit more fun.
“The loan market has been fair to us. We had a bit of Shaun’s money, but it wasn’t enough to go out and get deals done. I’m certain that in the next window I’ll have money to spend.
“I can keep churning out these gems in the loan market, but they have to be supported by the people you’ve already got here.”
And he is certainly confident in his recruitment policy.
The manager believes that during his time at the club, he has had players capable of leading the club to promotion, but for one reason or another has had to let out the exit door.
He said: “I think, with the players I’ve had since I took over, I’ve had a team good enough to go up.
“For example, on the right hand side, Danny Green or Jason Puncheon.
“Up front, Sam Baldock and Patrick Bamford. Bowditch and Balanta, Reeves and Chadwick, Gleeson and Potter, Adam Clayton, Adam Smith and Lee Hodson.
“But we’ve had to let some of them go.
“I’ve always known what I wanted because I’ve had the players. It’s now down to me to rebuild. We’re in a cycle.”
But it’s a cycle that has Dons cut to their bare bones.
In the last 12 months, Dons have seen nine recognised first team members leave, with only three permanent players coming in during the same time.
And although Robinson has moved to bring in Chris Long and Jordan Spence, the departures of Dale Jennings, Patrick Bamford and Jason Banton in January have left Dons with a distinctly lightweight feel about them.
“It’s a massive concern,” Robinson admits. “In an ideal world, I think you need, two keepers and seven players in defence.
“You need two on the left of midfield, two on the right, two number 10s and a young player in there, and three up front.
“You look at other teams, they’re able to do that. You’ve got to stockpile forwards.”
Robinson says will move to sign two more strikers before the loan window closes to give some much needed support to Long, who is still a rookie at this level.
Although there are still 16 games remaining of the current campaign, focus seems to be switching towards next season already, though maybe it is the ideal way of finally achieving what the club has been working towards for the last five years.