ROBINSON OWES DEBT OF GRATITUDE TO HIS CHAIRMAN
KARL Robinson took plenty of stick last year, not least from our own columnist Graham Westley.
Play-off semi-finalists in 2011 and 2012, MK Dons unexpectedly missed the cut in 2013,then spent last season misfiring their way to an underwhelming tenth in League One – their lowest finish for four years.
For the first time in his burgeoning career, serious questions were asked of the 34year-old’s ability to deal with pressure and expectation.
It wasn’t always pretty. He argued with Westley, lambasted his own players and, on occasion, officials too.
But chairman Pete Winkleman didn’t listen to the speculation. He knew how talented Robinson was. He knew that two dodgy seasons didn’t make him a bad manager, just as two good ones didn’t make him the next Alex Ferguson.
He gave his young manager time to learn the lessons from those tough times and now we are seeing why. Everything that made the Dons vulnerable before – their soft underbelly, their excessive focus on the aesthetic – has been rectified by Robinson.
Now they are a tough, lean, attacking force who finally look ready to launch an assault on the top two.