Karl Robinson believes that he missed out on one of the best players in League One on a frustrating transfer deadline day.
The Dons manager was desperate to add to his injury and suspension hit squad after watching his charges lose further ground in the promotion race but only managed to re-sign Chelsea striker Patrick Bamford on loan for the rest of the season.
He was unable to bring in any further reinforcements despite a team of staff staying at stadiummk until after midnight on Thursday.
Robinson has revealed that he had the opportunity to buy two players but the deals did not go through.
“We had two players in mind we maybe could have bought, good players,” he said.
“One was top draw, arguably one was the best player in the league, and he wanted to come.
“It’s unfair to say who as he’s still at a club.”
Charlton duo Bradley Wright-Phillips and Danny Green are understood to be players the club missed out on.
But Robinson refused to point the finger at chairman Pete Winkelman for not backing him more heavily in the transfer market, although he did admit to getting ‘frustrated’.
The 32-year-old boss showed his loyalty to the club last month by turning down the advances of Championship suitors Blackpool and he has also masterminded a money spinning run to the fifth round of the FA Cup – leading to calls for Winkelman to loosen his purse strings to aid a promotion push.
Climbing out of League One would do wonders for turnover but the club does not seem willing to break the bank for players when other projects – namely the completion of stadiummk – need the cash instead.
“If you go and spend that money on players and one of them gets injured you could bankrupt the football club,” Robinson said.
“What the chairman has done is remarkable and nobody should point fingers at him. I respect where we are at this football club.
“Sometimes people’s expectations are that we have millions to spend, but we’re in a process at the moment of stability.
“We’re probably 18 months away from completion of the stadium properly, with the hotel and everything that goes with it.
“Maybe then, I can understand where we’re going. Do I get frustrated? Yeah. Do I understand it? One hundred per cent. I know what I have signed up for.”
The boss said he was pleased that the window had passed without any of his star players leaving the club.
“Stephen Gleeson was injured, he was the one people would look at,” he said.
“A number of clubs are looking at Shaun Williams and Gary MacKenzie and Luke Chadwick are possibly ones people would be chasing.”
Dons can now call on the loan window to bring in reinforcements for the remaining months of the season.
However, this is far from ideal as it will mean targeting players who haven’t been playing elsewhere and subsequently may be short of fitness.
Talks have also begun with players whose contracts are due to expire in the summer.