Dan Micciche: MK Dons appoint ex-England youth coach as new manager

Dan Micciche
Dan Micciche worked with Borussia Dortmund's Jadon Sancho and Manchester City's Phil Foden in his time with England

League One strugglers MK Dons have appointed former academy coach and England Under-16 manager Dan Micciche as their new boss.

It is the 38-year-old's first club managerial role as he replaces Robbie Neilson, who left the club on Saturday.

Ex-Bristol City boss Keith Millen will be Micciche's assistant, while Dean Lewington has been made player-coach.

"It's been a whirlwind 24 hours but we've got a lot of work to do now," Micciche told the club website.

MK Dons are 21st in the third tier, one point from safety.

Micciche added: "I understand the position we are in - it is not the position we want to be in - so first and foremost, our priority is to make sure we bring some confidence and belief back to this squad so we can begin climbing that league table."

The new manager, who previously led MK Dons' youth set-up, spent more than four years working with England's development teams but left the Football Association by mutual consent in December.

Left-back Lewington, 33, is the club's leading appearance-maker but had been training with former manager Karl Robinson at Charlton after being frozen out by Neilson.

Following the Scotsman's departure after their defeat by Northampton, Lewington made a playing return for the club's under-23 side on Monday.

Millen, 51, was a defender for Brentford, Watford and Bristol City and worked as number two to Tony Pulis, Neil Warnock and Alan Pardew at Crystal Palace after leaving his only management job with the Robins in 2011.

"Dan is one of the most exciting young coaches in the country and shares our belief that Milton Keynes Dons can, one day, become a Premier League football club," said chairman Pete Winkelman.

Analysis

Geoff Doyle, BBC Three Counties Radio sports editor

This could be seen as a gamble from MK Dons, with Dan Micciche's inexperience managing at club level, but the Dons would argue that the appointment of Keith Millen as his right-hand man offsets that and MK Dons is a club that prides itself on doing things slightly left-field.

What is apparent is that the relationship needs to start working immediately and remain solid, considering the Dons' position in the League One relegation zone.

Millen has worked with old-school types like Tony Pulis, Neil Warnock and Alan Pardew so how will he get on with one of the new young breed of coaches - who has predominantly worked with kids?

It will be fascinating to see but most Dons fans seem happy with the management team, and having old favourite Dean Lewington back as player-coach also gets the seal of approval.

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