Williamson reflects on his year to remember ahead of curtain raiser against Doncaster

Mike WilliamsonMike Williamson
Mike Williamson | Jane Russell
MK Dons head coach Mike Williamson looks back on 2023, and ahead to the first game of 2024 against Doncaster Rovers

For Mike Williamson, 2023 has been a year he will remember for a long time.

Beginning in the National League with Gateshead, he led the side to Wembley Stadium for the final of the FA Trophy and had them playing a distinctive style of football before upping roots and taking over at MK Dons.

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Leading the club to a nine-game unbeaten run in League Two, he goes into the New Year sat sixth in League Two, with four straight wins and back in the promotion hunt once more.

While MK Dons as a club will be eager to move on from 2023 quickly, Williamson on the other hand has had a year to remember for plenty of the right reasons.

"I've loved every minute of it," he said. "The nature of football is that you're in one place one minute, and then you're faced with another challenge. It's the nature of life as well. If we knew what was coming next, it would be boring and monotonous.

"I really appreciate the platform I was given at Gateshead, and now the same here, we really appreciate the opportunity we've been given. There's lots to achieve, the ceiling is really high so I'm excited."

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Dons raise the curtain meanwhile on 2024 at Doncaster Rovers on Monday. Grant McCann's side are on a bad run of late, picking up three points from a possible 15, but picked up a 1-1 draw with high-flying Mansfield Town on Friday.

Williamson's side have 12 days without a game following the game at the Eco-Power Stadium, with the head coach asking for one more push before taking a break.

"It will be another tough task, well dust ourselves down after the Crawley game and we'll focus on going there to get three points.

"(Friday's draw) was a very good result for them - I like Mansfield when I've watched them and they are one of the favourites for promotion.

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"We've got to focus on what we do, and be switched on from the first minute. They're in a difficult place despite their good result on Friday, but we have to make sure we make it as hard as possible for them."

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