Winkelman defends Smith exit

MK DONS chairman Pete Winkelman has defended ex-boss Martin Allen's decision to release Gary Smith just days before leaving for Leicester, and said: "Gary has to be more consistent."

Midfielder Smith, 23, hit out at Allen for releasing him last Monday - on the same day as he was discussing his own move to become the Foxes' new manager.

But Winkelman insists Allen was not aware he was leaving for the Championship club when the decision was made, and revealed Smith was released because he was too inconsistent.

Winkelman said: "I didn't know Martin was going to Leicester and I don't think Martin knew he was going to Leicester when we were making decisions on releasing players or not.

"I have spoken to Gary Smith, who is loved in Milton Keynes and is one of the best players we've had - on his day he's an absolutely outstanding talent.

"But I've explained to Gary why Martin felt the way he did and we've let Gary go to find that new opportunity elsewhere - I expect Gary to go on and do really well somewhere.

"I think the experience he's had at Milton Keynes, even the ending of it, might just be the thing that makes him remember it's not just about being able to do it, it's doing it week in, week out."