Robbo’s under no pressure from Dons chairman

Karl Robinson talks with chairman Pete Winkelman
Karl Robinson talks with chairman Pete Winkelman

Chairman Pete Winkelman is putting no extra pressure on manager Karl Robinson to get MK Dons out of their precarious position in the Championship.

Dons teeter just one point above the relegation zone after 16 games, and face Fulham at stadium:mk tomorrow (Saturday).

But given the financial constraints under which Robinson is working, unable to spend big on improving his side when others around him can, he feels backed by his chairman, who understands why Dons are just 21st.

“He has backed me to the best of his ability,” said Robinson. “As a manager I want more. The chairman has been open with the fans, saying our budget is at the bottom.

“He’s not putting any more pressure on me, because he know’s it’s down there. We want to make this club better together.”

Robinson and Winkelman held a three-hour board meeting on Thursday to discuss the forthcoming transfer window, which opens in January 2016 - a window Robinson describes as the toughest one he’ll face yet.

He said: “We had a board meeting for a few hours on Thursday about what we’re going to do. We know it’s going to be difficult, but I think we have a team that has over achieved so to get better than them will be increasingly difficult.

“This is the most difficult transfer window I’ve ever known. To improve my team could cost a lot of money. We’re having a big debate about the right way of progressing.

“When me and the chairman get into a board meeting with 10 other people, I don’t think the others get to do a lot of talking!”

The difficulties the pair will face in recruiting are a far cry from some of the clubs Dons will face in the run up to Christmas.

Starting with Fulham on Saturday, Dons will face Wolves, Ipswich, Sheffield Wednesday and Cardiff over the next month - teams who can all boast big money signings and squads packed with multi-million pound players.

But it’s a period vital for Dons to start picking up points, mixing it with established sides at this level to shake off their ‘new boys’ tag.

Robinson added: “They’re all steeped in history and they’re phenomenal clubs. To see them up on my board is exciting and a huge challenge for us all. We’re a long way off, but with the dedication of everyone here, we can leave a legacy.

“Every team has multi-million pound strikers and a few million in the back four. It’s David and Goliath. It’s daunting but exciting.

“Christmas is in there somewhere too. The back end of November and December could be a good one for us.”