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Neilson named MK Dons manager

2 December 2016

Milton Keynes Dons Football Club are delighted to confirm the appointment of highly-rated Robbie Neilson as first-team manager.

After the Club agreed terms with Heart of Midlothian on Thursday evening, Neilson travelled to Stadium MK to finalise his move to become MK Dons’ seventh manager.

The 36-year-old, who made 352 appearances as a player for the likes of Leicester City, Brentford and Dundee United, led Hearts – another side whom he played for – to promotion from the Scottish Championship in his first season as head coach, winning the division title with an impressive points total of 91 and having scored 96 goals.

Last term, he guided the Tynecastle club to a third-place finish in the Scottish Premiership and leaves Edinburgh with the club second in the table ahead of title contenders Rangers.

The Scotsman holds a 58.4% win record and has received praise from a number of high-profile names in the game, including Sir Alex Ferguson.

“I’m delighted,” Neilson told MK Dons PlayerHD. “It’s great to be here and I’m looking forward to developing the club, developing the players and moving the club forward.

“The most important thing for me was picking the right chairman and the right club  and this was the right match at the right time –it’s a Club that’s going places.

“Hopefully the fans are ready for the ride. We want to create excitement but, most importantly, win football matches. With the squad that we’ve got here, we should be winning football matches – our job is to help them do that.”

Chairman Pete Winkelman added: “I’m hugely excited. Robbie has been on our list from day one – he’s the most exciting young manager in the UK, by a country mile.

“Hearts are a good club. They didn’t stand in Robbie’s way and they made it possible. They worked with us to make sure it was as smooth as it could be, given that it’s in the middle of the season.

“He was at a big club and he was doing well at a big club so we had to get our timing right. We wanted to make sure that we would get the right person for the job and I’m so pleased to be sitting here – almost within the time frame that I gave everyone – with the man I believe is going to take this Football Club forward.”

Neilson will be joined at the Dons by assistant Stevie Crawford, who has been alongside his fellow countryman since his appointment as Hearts manager back in 2014.

Crawford, a Scotland international striker who scored over 180 goals at club and country level during his playing days, has been coaching since 2009. He enjoyed a spell in charge at East Fife, before assisting Steven Pressley and Gary Holt at Falkirk and then Neilson at Hearts.

Neilson and Crawford will officially take charge of the first team after Saturday’s Emirates FA Cup Second Round tie at Charlton Athletic. The pair will be unveiled to the media on Monday afternoon.

Richie Barker will manage the side at The Valley.


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