Karl Robinson has paid tribute to Jimmy Bullard following the news of his retirement.
Robinson hailed Jimmy Bullard as a ‘tremendous player and a tremendous character’ after hearing the news of the the former Wigan, Fulham and Hull midfielder.
It was only five weeks ago that Robinson managed to pull of the shock short-term signing of Bullard, but after making three appearances for the Dons the 33-year-old felt discomfort in his knee and an appointment with a consultant confirmed Bullard’s worst fear.
Robinson though has no regrets in bringing Bullard to stadiummk; he just wishes he had been able to work with the midfielder in his prime.
The Dons boss said: “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.
“I have tremendous respect for Jimmy Bullard; he has 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 say he had been out of this world, but Jimmy decided to train like he used to but he couldn’t recover as well as used to and he 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 Club’s for a long time.
“I really wish I’d worked with Jimmy when he was younger because I think he is someone I would have really enjoyed working with him when he was at the top of him game.”
Despite only working with Bullard for a short spell, it is clearly that the charismatic footballer has made an impact on Robinson.
He added: “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.
"People will watch their kids play on a Sunday and they will see overhead kicks, diving headers, kids dribble past the whole team, but Jimmy was still doing that in the professional industry and he should be remembered as someone who played with a freedom and an expression; he never wanted it to be coached out of him.
“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.”