Shaun Williams has revealed team work and strong on-field partnerships was the reason behind MK Dons’ superb 2-0 win over Wolves last weekend.
The Dons had been in a tough run of form before a series of team meetings took place ahead of the match at Molineux and now Williams hopes by going back to basics the Dons will be able to maintain their good form heading into this Saturday’s game against Port Vale.
Williams has played alongside four different centre-backs this season and it is the constant changes in key places in the pitch which have caused the side to become unsettled over recent months.
“In the build up to the Wolves game we focused on partnerships,” Williams told mkdons.com, “we had individual meetings with our partners on the pitch, for example I had a meeting with Jordan (Spence) and Dave (Martin); Lewie (Dean Lewington) had a meeting with Dale (Jennings), (Stephen) Gleeson and (Darren) Potter and so on.
“It was an opportunity for us to get things off our chest, to look at what we need to do better, how we can support one another, the whole lot. We sat with our partnerships in the dressing room as well, rather than in numerical order which is how we usually sit, and behind us were the notes we’d all made to reinstate what we needed to do.
“A lot it was the basics because I think we had got away from basic defending, work rate and things like that. It was a great idea by the manager and Gary.”
Now Williams wants the team to build on both the performance and result against Wolves and get back to winning ways at stadiummk. One way that is likely to happen is by the players getting back into the rhythm of playing in a relatively unchanged squad.
“I think if the core of the team gets settled – the two centre-halves, the two midfielders and the nine and ten – then everyone else around can play well or get by. The core of the team has been disrupted for various reasons and I think that has shown in our performances.”
The Irishman is also looking forward to the return of Antony Kay, who has been out for three months following a hip operation. The central defenders were a strong unit at the back for the Dons at the start of the season but Kay’s injury dealt a huge blow to the Dons.
Kay was back on the bench last weekend and it appears he is not far off from re-entering the frame which could be just in time as Jordan Spence’s loan spell comes to an end in the New Year.
“I’m not a traditional centre-half, as everybody knows, so to have someone like Antony alongside me knowing he would get a kick in the face for me so I can do what I do best is perfect for me. I know Antony used to play in midfield but I would look to him more as a centre-half and if I was going into battle I know I would want him alongside me.”