Written by Connor Lawson
It’s been a turbulent week for MK Dons, starting last Saturday when they travelled to local rivals Northampton Town and lost 2-1, resulting in the sacking of manager Robbie Neilson after just 13 months in charge at the club.
Attention then turned to what would happen next at the club; who would take over the vacant hot seat?
Various names were floated around. Edu Rubio, Simon Grayson and, to the agony of many, Alan Stubbs. As the next few days unfolded, Grayson denied his interest, and on the Tuesday, a new management team was announced at Stadium:MK.
The team included Dan Micciche as manager, Keith Millen as his assistant, and Dean Lewington returned to the club as player-coach.
MK Dons fans were mostly happy with this decision from the chairman, Pete Winkelman, and many were even optimistic for the future under a well balanced managerial team.
Micciche is an MK Dons man, having coached the academy years ago, helping to nurture England talent Dele Alli in his younger days, before moving onto the England U16 side, where he also had success.
Micciche is a young, fresh manager and someone who really likes to play attacking football, therefore it could be very interesting to see how the MK Dons style of play evolves under him. I think it’s a fantastic appointment, as he really cares about the club and seems to have the desire to put in the work to get the team playing some exciting football.
Many questioned Micciche’s inexperience, which was a valid question to have considering the predicament the club find themselves in at the moment – in the League One relegation zone – won’t be easy to negotiate a way out of.
But it seems Winkelman also had that in mind, and the appointment of Keith Millen as assistant proved this, as he is a man with a plethora of coaching experience around some of the top clubs in England, as well as over 500 appearances in his playing days.
Millen will be just as important as Micciche, as it is likely he will have contacts for recruiting good players, as well as important knowledge that is needed to help the team to success. Millen is a brilliant football man, and his experience will help both the team, and Micciche himself.
The final part to the management team is a man who needs no introduction, and many MK Dons fans were delighted to see the return of Dean Lewington, after he was disrespectfully ousted out of the squad by Neilson.
It was a relief to see the return of the captain, as he has been such a fantastic servant to the club and I feel a bit of experience is exactly what we need right now to help us out of this situation.
Lewington is another man who wants to see the club succeed and he will do everything he can to ensure this happens.
The new management team do not have an easy task on their hands, though, as MK Dons sit in the relegation zone. However, it can all be turned around with still about half the season left.
Micciche also needs to get to work on signing some players, with a couple of loanees recently recalled in Gboly Ariyibi and Ryan Seager, Micciche needs to have some top players lined up to add to the strength of the squad.
His first test comes in the FA Cup Fourth Round at home to Coventry City, which will be no easy task, but a win will be a great way to get his reign underway, before his first league game next weekend.
The next few months will be interesting ones for MK Dons fans, who will be hoping that Micciche, Millen and Lewington can help to restore the club back to the higher reaches of League One.