Alexander was not the obvious first choice to take over at MK Dons

The MK Dons chairman said the interview process threw his new head coach to the top of the pile
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New MK Dons head coach Graham Alexander was not amongst Pete Winkelman’s front-runners to take over at Stadium MK, the chairman admitted.

While the 51-year-old boasts multiple play-off and promotion campaigns for the likes of Scunthorpe United, Salford City, Fleetwood Town and European qualification with Motherwell in Scotland, he was not the chairman’s immediate choice to take over from Mark Jackson following Dons’ relegation to League Two.

Initially, Michael Appleton and Danny Cowley were the favourites to lead the club next term, with Alexander at 16/1 at one stage for the position.

But the chairman admitted it was only after hearing him out during the interview process that Alexander became the obvious choice.

“By the time we’d filled out everything we needed to, we came across the person who won the process and that was Graham,” said Winkelman. “And I must admit, I didn’t think it would be Graham going into it, but that’s why we have it.

“Graham brings so much experience. Not many people have played more games than Dean Lewington!

“His assistant Chris (Lucketti) too has another 600 games, and they have managed more than 400 games as a management team together, with a really good win record too.

“We went through an exhaustive process, and I didn’t enjoy it at all. We met a lot of people, a lot of them I knew and a lot of them had won things - they wouldn’t have got an interview if they hadn’t.

“It is quite traumatic, you get confused and you hear a lot of different things from people. Any one of them could have done the job, there’s no doubt, but because there was a process, it wasn’t just opinion an instinct at the time.”

Alexander’s appointment went against Dons’ previous three managerial appointments – opting for experience rather than relative novice.

And Winkelman hinted he should have made that decision when appointing for the role back in December instead of opting for Jackson.

He said: “I went with experience. Maybe I tried too hard with our ‘MK Way’ of introducing someone new. When we got into trouble, I should have made a decision like this earlier. But it is made now.”