Working for Robbie Neilson is ‘relaxed and organised’

Robbie Neilson
Robbie Neilson

Dons goalkeeping coach Paul Heald admitted he was willing to make way if Robbie Neilson asked him to when the Scot took over at Stadium MK last year.

The 48-year-old has been a part of the club since signing for Wimbledon in 1995, and has served as coach since retiring ten years later.

Paul Heald. Pic: MK Dons

Paul Heald. Pic: MK Dons

Having worked under all of the club’s managers, he admitted he was willing to step aside last December when Neilson took over, bringing with him his own staff.

But Neilson, along with assistant Stevie Crawford, coaches Neil MacFarlane and John Hill, have made Heald feel a part of the team.

“Managers come in with their own ideas,” Heald said. “It’s difficult when a new regime comes in, but when the gaffer came in, he assessed everything and thankfully he liked what I was doing.

“I was open minded. Whether I stayed or was told to go, and whether I wanted to stay or go was up to me. And they were great and made me feel a part of things. I knew no matter what happened, the club was in good hands and going in the right direction.”

Having worked alongside Karl Robinson for nearly seven years, Heald admitted there have been a lot of changes behind the scenes at Dons, but he feels they are positive.

He added: “I’ve seen a gradual change from Karl’s era to the gaffer’s era. It has been a positive change, we’ve moving in a different direction.

“Robbie has come in with his own ideas, he is very organised, very relaxed, and it’s a fantastic environment for everyone.

“We know exactly when and where we’re needed. We have a good camaraderie with the staff and players, and we all knuckle down.

“I like this environment - it’s good for everyone to work in.”