Chairman backs Williamson to shine next season amidst Barnsley rumours

Mike WilliamsonMike Williamson
Mike Williamson
Rumours have circulated linking Mike Williamson with a move to Yorkshire in the last few days

Chairman Pete Winkelman has backed head coach Mike Williamson to lead MK Dons to promotion next season amidst rumours of a League One side sniffing for his services.

The former Newcastle United defender has attracted the attentions of Barnsley, according to online reports, as they look to gain promotion to the Championship having also fallen short this season in the play-offs.

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Williamson, who took over with Dons in 17th in League Two, helped turn around the club’s fortunes this season by finishing fourth, but suffered the indignity of an 8-1 thrashing to Crawley Town in the post-season.

Winkelman, who this time last year hired Graham Alexander but sacked him in October to replace him with the ex-Gateshead boss, said Williamson would have led Dons to a second-place finish had he been in charge all season, and deserves a full season to show what he can do at MK1.

“I think Mike would have got us automatically promoted had he had that time at the beginning of the season,” the chairman claimed. “I think we would have come second. Some very good decisions have been made, and as ever, we've backed the manager all the way.

“We have to give Mike the chance to take us through a whole season, and I'm excited by that. If you look at what Mike has achieved, we've done really well. He has turned around how we play, we looks like a Milton Keynes, we play decent football and when we get it right, we look really good. When it goes wrong, we can be the wrong side of awful and we have to find out a way of being better than that.”

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With eyes already turning to next season, Winkelman said the lure of working under Williamson and his team has proven to be a bigger one than he expected when it has come to recruiting players.

He continued: “He's an exciting manager, we're having no problems recruiting players by playing this style. Mike is a young manager, very respected already. I know from the players we're talking to about the value he brings in being able to attract the right kind of player to this club. I've no problems doubling down on that.

“If we can refresh this team and have a few more eyes on the goal, let's see if we can achieve promotion next year.”