Karl Robinson celebrates a year in charge of Charlton Athletic today – and will hit the milestone of 400 games as a manager this weekend.
The 37-year-old is already the longest-serving boss since Roland Duchatelet bought the club in January 2014.
“I can’t comment on people who have been there before and say it is right, wrong or indifferent,” said Robinson, whose Addicks side travel to Scunthorpe tomorrow. “But it should be the norm – managers need time.
“When I came into the club the team were not winning games, we’d lost Ademola Lookman and Morgan Fox and had Ricky Holmes and Jason Pearce injured. There was no depth to the squad and we had people who didn’t want to be here.
“I thought at that stage, what have I done? I had to re-evaluate in the summer so that the recruitment aspects were done right. The year has gone quickly. The challenges I have had in the last 12 months I’ve never had before. The last four months at Milton Keynes I was poor at my job. We were very successful there but I lost who I was near the end – that drive I had.
“Coming to Charlton has enthused me again. I’ll always be grateful to Charlton people – the way they have been. I can’t ask for any more. The support they’ve given our team has been unquestionable.
“It was a horrible Tuesday night game [against Rochdale] and just listen to that noise. I had a lot of friends at the game on Saturday and they couldn’t believe the noise from the last time they played us.”
When asked about why he felt he was a failure towards the end of his lengthy MK reign, Robinson replied: “Whenever you get relegated you go hard on a few things.
“I felt like I had let Milton Keynes down, even though a lot of things were not my fault.
“I felt I had one thing left to achieve there – one year of sustainability in the Championship.
“I do love the club I work for – it is all or nothing for me. I just want to win. It was horrible to feel I had let people down, even though it was out of my control a lot of the time.
“After we got promoted my head of recruitment Andy King passed away. He was like a father figure to me in the game. I had his picture in my office and I saw it every day. I found that difficult, being there without him. I always felt there was a hole there.
“It was probably the right decision by them [MK, to sack him]. But I know what I could have achieved there. But I still probably needed to come away.
“When Milton Keynes go promoted to the Championship we sold £6million [of players] and didn’t spend a penny. It’s impossible to compete at that level of our game.
“It used to be that you had to spend to get in the top-10 of the league or go for automatic promotion. Now you have to spend to survive.”
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