Williams sees similarities between England's play and Dons' style

"You can see England players putting the team first whenever they play."

Wednesday, 7th July 2021, 9:44 am
Updated Wednesday, 7th July 2021, 9:48 am
England celebrate scoring against Ukraine
England celebrate scoring against Ukraine

Football may be coming home this summer - time will tell - and England's patient and measured approach to games during the Euro 2020 tournament may look quite familiar to MK Dons fans.

Gareth Southgate's side go into tonight's semi-final against Denmark looking to reach their first major final since 1966, coming alive in the knock-out stages after brushing Germany and Ukraine aside to reach the final four.

Performances split opinion in the group stages though, despite winning two of their three games and not conceding a goal thus far.

Dons faced similar questions and criticism at times last season when they struggled against teams towards the bottom of the table, while seeming to thrive against teams at the sharper end of League One.

Assistant boss Luke Williams said the likeness between England and Dons' style of play is something he and Russell Martin have both noticed too.

"I think there are similarities we can’t ignore," he said. "We watch every single goal from England’s qualifying campaign yesterday and it seems that almost all of their goals involve the same players - Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane feature heavily.

"The structure they play with and the one we do at MK Dons is about moving the ball from one end to the other, when we get to the final third it’s about the individuals with high talent taking charge of the game.

"There are so many actions involved, I think at the beginning there were certain players that found it difficult. We have guys like Harry Maguire defending high up the pitch, these are the type of actions we are seeing both at England at MK Dons and that takes time.

"Certain players have strengths required in other teams, the manager here, we’re lucky because he has a clear way of playing, we give them all the information and the go and play with a clear idea of what we do. That’s why we see so many clear England performances.

"Rather than change players that do different things, there are some non-negotiables that they have to do then they can also put their own unique spin on things. We believe some things are fundamentals then we want the players to have the licence to have freedom, that helps to bond the group.

"You can see England players putting the team first whenever they play."