Robbie puts together his Christmas wish-list
It may be Christmas this weekend, but Robbie Neilson may have to be patient to get his what he wants off his list.
Coming into the Dons fold, he has quickly had to establish what is required when it comes to the January sales, but also what he can afford to let loose.
Dons are working with their largest League 1 budget for quite some time, and there is some money available to the new manager, and without question, there’s one thing he’ll be chasing more than anything else: goals.
Dean Bowditch, not strictly a striker, leads the scoring charts with nine, while Kieran Agard and Ben Reeves are tied on six, and winger Ryan Colclough has five to his name.
But the only striker on the books, Nicky Maynard, is yet to find the net this season.
Undoubtedly, and somewhat obivously, it has been Dons fans’ biggest bugbear for a long time. Not since Sam Baldock’s departure in 2011 have Dons had a striker on their books capable of netting 20 goals a season. But with Dons battling at the wrong end of the table, an astute loan signing wouldn not go amiss or unwelcomed.
If Neilson can pluck one, perhaps two potent front men in January, Dons may begin to settle back into the League 1 fold.
The same could be said for a new centre back. Scott Wootton would have been the man to lead the team this season but for a cruelly timed knee ligament injury, which looks set to rule him out for the rest of this season.
Dean Lewington has made th etransition to stepping inside, but openly admits he doesn’t like playing there, but the performances of Paul Downing appear to show he has finally found his feet at Stadium MK.
Jack Hendry though is showing his inexperience. Albeit a temporary stop-gap, Dons need someone with more understanding of the game. His loan spell ends in January, and it is unlikely to be extended.
He is unlikely to be the only loanee sent back next month, with George C Williams ineffective all season, and Colclough rapidly going off the boil since his Fleetwood hat-trick.
There will be no time to waste though - Neilson wants to add to his squad as soon as possible, so don’t expect a late night on deadline day.