Williamson confirmed as new head coach of MK Dons

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MK Dons have moved swiftly to get their new head coach

Mike Williamson has been confirmed as the new head coach of MK Dons.

The 39-year-old leaves his role in charge of National LeagueGateshead to take over following Graham Alexander's sacking on Monday.

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The former Newcastle United and Wolvesdefender took over as boss of the Heed in 2019, helping them to promotion to the National League, and leaves them in sixth spot.

He takes over an MK Dons side who, having sat top of the league six weeks ago, have gone eight without a win in League Two, plummeting to 16th and costing Alexander his job after just 142 days.

“I’m excited and I can’t wait to get started,” Williamson said. “It’s been a quick turnaround and it was a tough decision to leave Gateshead but when a Club like this comes in, it’s a no brainer.

“Everything the club epitomises was really attractive to me and my team. For us, it was about finding the right club and somewhere that was aligned with the way we see the game and would back us to do that – this is a fantastic club to do that.

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“We have a talented squad, with strength in depth. We’ll come in, get to know the group and let the players get to know us. They’ve got to trust us and buy into what we stand for.

“We have a lot of ideas that we want to implement, but it will be one thing at a time – it is going to be an evolution.”

Gateshead have been given plenty of plaudits for their style of play under Williamson. After winning the National League North last season, scoring 99 goals en route to promotion. They currently lead lead all National League teams for ball possession (65.7 per cent), shots per 90 (14.28) and passes per 90 (566.25), while ranking in the top three for goals scored (34), touches in the penalty area per 90 (21.33), PPDA (7.95) and fewest shots against per 90 (7.76).

Williamson will be joined at Stadium MK by Assistant Head Coach Ian Watson and First-Team Coach Chris Bell, whom he worked with throughout his four-year reign at Gateshead.

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“Ultimately, we want to win,” Williamson continued. “We want to win every metric. It will look a certain way but ultimately it’s about winning and that’s the outcome we’re looking to achieve.

“We want to be intense – that’s the bedrock, everything we do we want to do with energy and enthusiasm. We want to play forwards as quickly as we can but we’ve got to have solutions and the players have to understand what we’re tying to achieve.

“A by-product of that is that we want to control the game and that will equate to dominating possession but our whole play is about disturbing the backline and when we work our way from back to front, it is with one thing in mind and that is scoring a goal.

“We wanted to be connected – on the pitch, with the club and with the fans. The fans are the club, they are the bedrock and we are coming in to guide and support their team, but we’ve got to earn their trust.

“Fortunately for us, the alignment is there throughout the club, which is exciting, and we can’t wait to get started.”

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