"The outcome is so important": Williamson on derby day

Mike Williamson looks ahead to tomorrow's game against rivals AFC Wimbledon
Mike WilliamsonMike Williamson
Mike Williamson

Head coach Mike Williamson believes delivering the best result for the MK Dons supporters this Saturday against AFC Wimbledon will be to ignore the occasion as best they can.

With his side nicely placed in the hunt for promotion, a trip to their biggest rivals comes as the start of another three-game week, which also sees Dons travel to Field Mill to take on League Two leaders Mansfield Town.

Heading into Plough Lane on Saturday though, the stakes will be high for both sides ahead of the early 12.30pm kick-off. For the home side, they will be looking to avoid another defeat which could see them lose further ground in the play-off hunt, while the visitors will be eager to do the double over their rivals to keep them in the automatic promotion race.

But with bragging rights also weighing on supporters' minds, Williamson said by taking the rivalry out of their preparations, it might just help them deliver to the fans.

"The outcome is so important to us as staff and players, and club and supporters," he said. "The best way to ensure that is to be present in every moment. If you're focussed on the objective at every moment, be that defending a throw-in or a set-piece, you don't hear the noise, and that is the key. We just have to focus on the job we have to do.

"The beauty of supporting is the opposite - you can have the banter, the chats, talk about the rivalry, predict scores and outcomes, but for us, we have to focus on the objective. We want to give the fans something to shout about, but we'll let them do the talking and we'll do the work on the pitch.

"We know it will be difficult, we know we'll have to win battles and match them in every area. It could take 95 minutes to settle down, that's the nature of derbies, but it is paramount we focus on that.

"There are obviously three points at stake which both clubs will be desperate to get, but we look at where we are. We'll be going there with confidence."

"The lads know and realise one lapse of concentration, that momentum can be gone. For us, we're focussed on how we can prepare as best we possibly can.

"We have to block out the noise and focus on what we want, how we want to play and how we can go about it."