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Robinson excited for Dale impact

4 December 2013

Manager Karl Robinson admits he tried to sign loanee Dale Jennings in the summer before the winger moved to Barnsley from Bayern Munich.

Jennings, 20, joined the Dons on loan until January 5th last Thursday, having made just four appearances for the Tykes since signing on a three-year deal from the German giants.

The highly-rated youngster was awarded man of the match for his performance in the 3-1 defeat to Coventry City and his new boss Robinson is excited to have the chance to work with the player he once coached during his time with Liverpool.

Speaking to the media earlier this week, the 33-year-old manager said: “I was on the phone to Dale in the summer for four days trying to take him on loan from Bayern for the season but then Barnsley came along and signed him.

“I’ve known him since he was 11 but obviously we couldn’t afford to buy him and I explained that to him.  I’ve followed his career very fondly and he’s exactly the type of player I want to bring to this Football Club; I’ve just been lucky to have the chance to do it on a loan.

“He had not played a game for four weeks before Saturday but you’ve seen what we’ve got from him; the fans voted him man of the match. I heard a few people questioning why I took him off but the kid was absolutely on the floor; he said he couldn’t even pick his legs up.

“I didn’t want to bring Dale off because I know he can be a difference. He’s still got that pace despite putting a bit of weight on and having not played much. (Cyrus) Christie is one of the quickest full backs in the League and he showed him a clean pair of heels a number of times.

“That’s why I brought him in and I’m looking forward to seeing him play on a more consistent basis - he just needs to learn to call me Gaffer and not Karl.”

On the same day the Dons swooped for Jennings, they also allowed duo Jon Otsemobor and Izale McLeod to join Tranmere Rovers and Northampton Town on loan respectively, which raised some eyebrows among some sections of supporters.

Robinson, therefore, was keen to clarify his reasoning behind the decision. He added: “I can understand why fans were questioning why we let them go.

“In Jon Otsemobor’s case, we’ve got three right-backs - Semy, Lee (Hodson) and George Baldock -and because of where we’re at financially the moment I can’t afford to cover that. We’ve got a 20-year-old and 21 year-old as my two right-backs and the future lies with these two 

“Semy knows where I’m trying to go with this Club and he’s accepted that.  He will always hold a place in our hearts for his goal against AFC (Wimbledon). One day he’ll be able to come out onto the pitch in front of 30,000 and get a standing ovation and everybody will know why – he’s the Heel of God.

“Izale, on the other hand, is struggling for a bit of form and fitness. I don’t think Patrick will go back (to Chelsea) but if he was to then we’d need (Izale) fully fit and ready to go. If he comes back and scores goals then great, we want somebody to come back firing in January.

“Izale wanted to go and score goals and get his confidence up. He understands that Patrick’s scored 13 goals and he understands that when him and Patrick play together, we’re not has dangerous as we have been.

“It has left us slightly short up front but we’ve got Smithy, Powelly, Dale and Giorgio as back-up behind Patrick. There are a number of options for us up front.”

And with regard to the long-term futures of the two players at MK Dons, Robinson commented: “We’ll see how they go over the next month. Not one of them has caused a problem since they’ve been here.”

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