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Karl: Relishing managerial duel

14 February 2014

Karl Robinson is relishing being the oldest manager in the dugouts on Saturday when his MK Dons side face Oldham Athletic.

Latics boss Lee Johnson is just 32 years old, making him one year, three months and six days younger than Robinson, who has more than 200 managerial games under his belt already.

Johnson took over from Robinson as the Football League’s Youngest Manager although the Dons boss still holds the record of the being the youngest manager appointed.

Robinson, speaking to MK Dons Player, joked: “It’s the first time I’ve come up against him and the first time in my life that I’ve ever been the oldest manager in the dugouts. It’s quite a surreal scenario.

“It’s also shows you the diversity in age, I’ve gone up against a manager who started managing before I was born this year and now I’m going up against a manager that’s younger than me. It just shows you the gulf in the experience, even in League 1. 

“One thing about Lee is that he’s always been around management with his Dad (Gary Johnson) and he was a good player himself. He’s doing really well as a manager at Oldham, which can be a difficult place to manage, as Paul Dickov knows.”

Saturday’s match provides Robinson and the Dons with the chance to build on their impressive showing at Walsall last weekend and close the gap on the top six.

MK Dons’ all-time record goalscorer Izale McLeod bagged a brace in that match at Banks’s Stadium, his first League goals since September, and Robinson has backed his striker to continue his form tomorrow afternoon.

“I’ll pick the team on how people work in training but obviously Izale’s got a head-start because of his performance at Saturday. The way Izale’s trained so far these last two weeks has been impeccable and hopefully that’ll continue into the game on Saturday.

“I’d say he had his best game since coming back at Walsall. I know he scored two very good goals against FC Halifax Town but, with no disrespect to them, they are a lesser quality than a Walsall for example. 

“He scored those two goals against a back four which can be really difficult to play against and we saw that when Izale is at his best, he’s unplayable.”

Karl Robinson spoke to MK Dons Player ahead of his side’s clash with Oldham Athletic tomorrow afternoon. Click here to watch a short teaser of that interview

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