EXCLUSIVE: Relegation would be ‘unthinkable’ for Winkelman in midst of manager swap

Pete Winkelman and Dan Micciche
Pete Winkelman and Dan Micciche

Relegation from the Championship was the worst thing to happen to MK Dons in 10 years, and Pete Winkelman says it cannot happen again.

After slipping into the bottom four on Saturday, and parting company with manager Robbie Neilson as a result, Winkelman said dropping to the fourth tier would be ‘unthinkable’ and something that they have to avoid at all costs.

He said: “We will do everything in our power to avoid relegation. We cannot go down.

“Going down from the Championship was the worst thing to happen to us in the last 10 years, so it is unthinkable to get worse than that.

“But we know when a club is going backwards, you cannot click your fingers and have it change.

“I thought we’d made more steps forwards than perhaps we had at the end of last season. We certainly haven’t been right for a massive part of this season.

“I’m looking at where we are. I could have been accused of burying my head in the sand a few years ago, but I’m absolutely not doing it this year, that’s why I had to do what I did.”

And given their position, new boss Dan Micciche is under no illusions as to his main objective this season.

Winkelman added: “We’re not in a good position. Dan knows that. He has to turn results around.

“We all know where we are and where we cannot be.”