Euphoria is on another level in the play-offs, says Williamson

MK DonsMK Dons
MK Dons
Can this season’s play-off campaign buck the trend for MK Dons?

It is something MK Dons have not been able to achieve in five previous attempts, but Mike Williamson is keen to taste play-off success this season.

The play-offs have previously been a touchy subject at Stadium MK. Each of the previous bids for promotion via the post-season have fallen flat on their face, with John Moss, David Stockdale and Tore Andre Flo all leaving their mark on supporters’ hearts since 2007.

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The play-offs success is also alien to Williamson, and his single trip to Wembley as a manager resulted in a 1-0 defeat to Halifax in the final of the FA Trophy this time last year.

Only four players remain from Dons’ last play-off heartbreak, the ill-fated 2021/22 campaign – with another crossing the MK-Wycombe divide – but the ghosts of play-offs past still haunt the halls of Stadium MK. 

That history of disappointment though must be put to the back of everyone’s mind for the sake of the current squad and for the potential what could be headed their way at the end of the season.

“I've never had the pleasure to experience it, but many have told me the euphoria is on another level,” said Williamson.

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“I've always tried to keep it on a level. I speak to them as people, and hopefully that goes into them as a player. You can always be fitter, stronger, you can always have more detail.

“Football has so many variables, you're never the finished article. So no matter the situation, we always have to be desperate to improve. But sometimes as people, you also have to take stock, zoom out and look where we've come from and what we're doing it all for.

“It can turn disappointment and the fear of a play-off scenario into excitement. I can feel it now already, I can feel the emotions, and the uncertainty. But that's why we do it. The tests will be difficult, but we wouldn't want it any other way.”

“Since we came in, if you'd offer us this position, we'd snap your hand off. Some of the performances we've seen from the boys have been phenomenal.

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“All the teams will look for weaknesses we have, but at the same time, they're going to have a fear because we know what firepower we have, how strong we are and how we want to play. We've got a job to do, so we're just focused on that.”