Robbo’s Column: Paul’s competitive team will lead to a new generation of Dons fans

Ex-MK Dons manager Karl Robinson explains why it was crucial for new boss Paul Tisdale to bring winning football back to Stadium MK this season to continue to build the club’s fan-base…

I am so happy to see MK Dons pushing for promotion this season – I’m happy for everybody at the club including manager Paul Tisdale, who is a top man and such a nice fella.

Paul has assembled a good team that has a good chance of getting back into League One. But I don’t want to put any pressure on them and, even if they just miss out, at least the fans are now watching games being won at Stadium MK.

That is important to encourage the next generation of young fans to come to Stadium MK. It would have been a catastrophe if the club had not been competitive in League Two this season and endured another ‘dead’ year like the last two seasons.

Forget about the financial implications, I’m talking about the importance of shifting the power away from Arsenal, Spurs, Manchester United and Liverpool, to Milton Keynes, among local people.

I want to see Milton Keynes Dons on scarves and cars, and badges up around the city – that was always something that drove me on when I was manager of the Dons.

It wasn’t about personal gain for me, I wanted the kids of Milton Keynes to have a football club they could be proud of.

We’re another six years away from the young fans that I first encountered at the club turning 26 or 27 and bringing their own kids to games – then you will have full families of born and bred MK Dons fans.

It’s a crucial time right now because of that so it would be great if the club could be competing in the top 10 of League One again in the next couple of years.

I just hope over the next few years it continues to grow and that there are 15,000 people at games at Stadium MK, with MK Dons fans taking Dons fans to games, rather than Tottenham or Liverpool fans taking MK Dons kids.

My daughter has been to more Dons games than Oxford United games this season because she loves going. And whenever I don’t have a game with Oxford I jump in the car and go and watch the Dons – I just love going back there.

I wish Paul all the luck in the world and I hope we are both in the same league next year because I always look forward to coming back to the dugouts at Stadium MK.

This feature was published in the April 2019 issue of Celebrate:MK lifestyle magazine. Read the full magazine above or by clicking on this link.

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