KARL Robinson insists he has no regrets about bringing Jimmy Bullard to MK Dons, despite the midfielder being forced to retire from football after just five weeks and 80 minutes on the pitch for the club.
The 33-year-old former Wigan and Fulham midfielder was signed on a short-term contract after his release from Ipswich Town in the summer, and went on to make just three appearances for Dons, including one start.
But despite him having a history of knee injuries, Robinson said the decision to bring Bullard to stadium:mk was a good one, and the club wasn’t breaking the bank to do so.
“The misconception of the football world was that Jimmy was coming here and we were paying him an awful lot of money. It was a remarkable deal and one where there was no risk, to a certain extent, to anybody,” said Robinson.
“I have tremendous respect for Jimmy Bullard. He’s gone up in my estimation. He could have just sat on the bench and taken a minimum amount of money home every week, but he chose to be honest with me and himself.
“In Jimmy’s last training session, Mick Harford came up to me and said he had been out of this world. Jimmy decided to train like he used to, but he couldn’t recover as well as he used to and felt a lot of pain.
“The type of character that Jimmy is, he doesn’t do anything by halves, if he’s going to do it he has to do it properly and I have tremendous respect for him. He will be a friend of the cub’s for a long time.
“I really wish I’d worked with Jimmy when he was younger because I think he’s someone I would have really enjoyed working with when he was at the top of him game.”
“Jimmy played football like he was still at school. He’s like Peter Pan, he’s the boy that never grew up. And that’s one of his strengths as well, people may see it as a weakness but he played football with a freedom and an expression.
“We have to be thankful for everyday that we walk into training because what people don’t realise is that it’s a very short career and this just hammers it home. What’s happened to Jimmy has only opened the younger players’ eyes.
“I would like him to a bit of scouting work for me, and I know he wants to get his foot in the door in the coaching side of it and if I can help him he knows I will try.”