Familiar faces may be heading out of stadium:mk as Karl Robinson predicts ‘four or five’ more to leave MK Dons during this transfer window.
While the axe has already fallen on Diego Poyet, Sam Gallager and Cristian Benavente, Robinson predicts a few more ‘difficult decisions’ before the month is out as he looks to rearrange his pieces.
The ‘will he, won’t he’ debate on Robinson’s decision to spend this month has rumbled on throughout the month, but his new train of thought means he has to make deep cuts into his side in order to bring in the calibre of player he feels will keep Dons afloat this season.
But in order to do so, he will have to see several more players off his wage bill.
“There will probably four or five more to go, and then we’ll start building. It’s going to be hard, but we have to be ruthless.”
“I have to make way in my squad. I have to make some difficult decisions this month. I want to slim the squad right down and then add to it. It’s another part of the plan coming to fruition.
“Keith Andrews said ‘If we do things the same way we did them last season, we’ll get relegated.’ And he’s right. We have to approach it in a different way. Different and better.”
Stopping short of naming names, Robinson admitted it may be one of his core players making way to allow the club to move forward.
“Possibly,” he hinted. “It won’t be a hard decision, because if it’s right it should be easy. It’s not a threat.”
Only Jake Forster-Caskey has come in since the window re-opened at the start of the month, joining on loan for the remainder of the season from Brighton, leaving the ever-thinning squad facing an even tougher task until new faces arrive.
They, though, look a long way off.
“There’s nothing imminent yet,” said the manager. “I’m well and truly in the market. Results like Tuesday (losing 5-0 to Burnley) can show me where I need to improve.
“We’re trying. We’ve got three or four players we really want.
“We are approaching people to see if we can bring in one or two loans that can drive us forward. And maybe a young buy that is for the future, but can equally have an influence this year. We are looking, but we don’t do our business in the same sort of places other clubs do.
“I was so jealous of what Burnley can go out and do, but I bet Burnley are jealous of what Derby and Middlesbrough can do. And they’ll be jealous of someone too. We’re always looking up and we always want more.”
The changing of the ‘old guard’ isn’t a new proposition for Robinson. Now in his third ‘team,’ the manager has reluctantly relinquished fan favourites like Sam Baldock, Stephen Gleeson, Luke Chadwick and Shaun Williams in attempts to reshuffle and rebuild from the bottom up, and he isn’t ruling out similar shuffles this month.
He said: “Sometimes, you build and build, but now we’re laying foundations for success in a different way. We’ll park one, and start another.
“I’ve had to change, and it proves I’m not scared to do it, and I think it’s time to do it again.
“I have to do it cleverly... but I’m not clever. That’s what my teachers told me anyway!”