Learning the Williamson Way might be a painful process for MK Dons

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The new MK Dons boss has warned not to expect immediate results with his style of play

Installing a new style of play at MK Dons will take time and could be a painful process, Mike Williamson admitted after taking over at the club this week.

Williamson drew Premier League plaudits from Eddie Howe earlier this year after a friendly between Gateshead and Newcastle United in the summer, with the Magpies having to come from 2-0 down to win 3-2.

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With the style of play at Stadium MK becoming a serious point of concern for chairman Pete Winkelman after sacking Graham Alexander on Monday, Williamson’s name flew to the top of the wishlist because of his vision of the game, played out at the Gateshead International Stadium.

Williamson, a close friend of former MK Dons boss Russell Martin after the pair played together in defence at Wycombe early in their careers, admitted the manner in which he wants his teams to play takes time to get used to, and was at times a painful process at his former club.

He said: “It took a bit of time at Gateshead, there was some pain getting there, but it was a learning experience. We’re looking to do what we’ve already done but on a bigger scale.

“It's all about winning, but as well it's about how you do it and go about it. Style is a byproduct of the best way we believe to go about winning a game. It's not something we focus on for the sake of having a good identity. There are so many ways of winning a game, that's why football is so exciting.

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“The main thing I think is relationships, to give people a good feeling and to want to go out there and play. There is so much detail that goes into that.

“Everyone has a way they like to see their team, but fundamentally, they have to see players who care, who want to run, play with intensity and passion. The outcome is uncontrollable though.”

While Dons started the season in decent form, winning four of their opening five, the team looked far from fluid, doing just about enough to get over the line with the three points in some of those encounters.

Williamson said wins like that can paper over the cracks initially, and that every area of the pitch can be improved in time.

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He continued: “I’ve been in the game long enough to know the outcome is important. Winning covers a multitude of issues and problems, but what is really important for me is to get our message across. We want to get onto the training ground, crystalise everything we can as clearly as possible. We’ll take everything else as it comes.

“Everything has to be looked at. We want to have a solid base, we want to defend as little as possible. If we can have the ball, we do minimal defending. There will have to be a level of physicality, but we want to be on the ball, on the front foot and dominating territory.

“We want to show them how we want to attack, and how we want to defend in certain areas to win the ball back as quickly as possible to build again.”

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