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A job well Don

Chris Kamara - Chris Kamara Posted 6th March 2008 view comments

It's almost four years since Wimbledon relocated to Milton Keynes under a new name.

As controversial as that move was, it's in the past now and while MK Dons are doing well in League Two in a magnificent new stadium, so AFC Wimbledon are marching on and getting on with their new life.

Ince: future top-flight manager?

Ince: future top-flight manager?

I've got a lot of time for Peter Winkelman, the MK Dons chairman, who is a really top bloke and he's really done things right as far as the new club is concerned.

There has been no expense spared on the stadium and if you go and visit the place, it will really open your eyes. There are a lot of cheap ways to build a football stadium, but they've done it the expensive way and they're trying to gear themselves up for success.

Paul Ince has only been in management for just over a year, but I don't think there's a doubt that he'll be a top-flight manager one day.

Chris Kamara
Quotes of the week

FOOTBALL LEAGUE LIVE
Chesterfield v MK Dons
Monday, 7.30pm, Sky Sports 1

It's perhaps surprising for a club that's not been around for a long time, but Peter clearly believes in the project and so far, so good.

They've got no history because they can't take Wimbledon's; when they moved they gave all of that up and rightly so. But now it's time to create their own memories and this season they're starting to do that.

The club are going to Wembley for the Johnstone's Paint Trophy later this month and there's talk of them taking 20,000 fans with them, which is an achievement in itself.

Promotion seems an absolute certainty too. I think Peterborough, MK Dons and Darlington are virtually guaranteed the three automatic spots in League Two because Hereford have just dropped off the pace, despite the fine job Graham Turner has done with hardly any money to spend.

However, it's going to be tight for the League Two title. The three teams I've mentioned have all spent money and while Peterborough are finishing the season like a rocket, it's still too close to call.

O'Neill route

You've got to give a lot of credit to Paul Ince for the job he's doing with MK Dons. You could say he's taken the "Martin O'Neill route" into management by working his way up through the leagues.

Macclesfield were virtually in non-league when he took over there. They were 13 points adrift at the bottom of League Two and after a really hard learning curve, he managed to keep them up on the final day of the season. I don't think he got enough credit for doing a wonderful job there.

He then moved to MK Dons, which wasn't exactly a sideways step because they were a club with more potential to grow. There was pressure on him but he's passing his test with flying colours and now he's thrown into the frame every time a bigger job becomes available.

He's only been in management for just over a year, but I don't think there's a doubt that he'll be a top-flight manager one day. He hasn't come into it to hang around in the lower divisions and MK Dons are certainly heading in the right direction.

Another guy who's better than the level he's at is Keith Andrews who has scored hatfuls of goals for the Dons from midfield this season.

They rely on him a lot because the team haven't got lightning pace over the top and that could be their downfall in the League Two title race.

But what they do have is this wonderful midfield player who always seems to pop up in the right place at the right time.

You can see him in action live on Sky Sports against Chesterfield on Monday night and I think Lee Richardson has done a good job with the Spireites since taking over.

He's not had a lot of money to spend, but he's got a squad together full of good, young players who try to pass the ball around. They've got a chance of the play-offs this season and we should be in for a good game on Monday night.

Do you have a question for Kammy? Let us know what you think by using the feedback form below and continue to email him here

Kammy answers your questions...

Hi Chris, love reading your article every week. Do you think Sheffield Wednesday have what it takes to stop up this season? After the finish we had last season all the fans set expectations far too high for this year as we were never going to carry it on after losing Steve MacLean and Chris Brunt who were our best players and goalscorers. You can't let quality players go and bring in average ones to replace them, but with no money available Brian Laws can do no more. Hopefully, the talk of a takeover is not too far away and maybe next season if we have investment then we'll be able to have a better season depending on what division we are in! Thomas Turton, very worried Owl.

KAMMY REPLIES: I didn't think Wednesday would be involved at the wrong end of the table and I'm very, very surprised that that is the case. They were two or three games short of getting into the play-offs last season because they were on such a good run at the end of the campaign.

As you say Thomas, losing so many important players was a big problem. The one that I was very surprised they let go was Glenn Whelan, who I thought was the heartbeat of the team. He was a real leader, he got all over the pitch and his movement was fantastic.

Maybe Brian Laws wanted the money to bring in his own players and unfortunately it hasn't been that successful. But you look at the squad and it's decent. They've got Graham Kavanagh in midfield and Franny Jeffers and Akpo Sodje up front, so there should be enough quality there to keep them away from danger.

They've got games in hand on some of the teams around them and if they get a couple of good results they'll be out of the bottom three because it's so tight at the bottom. I spoke to Teddy Sheringham on Sunday and I said I thought Colchester were dead and buried, but he feels they can get out of it - and if they can, then Wednesday can. There will be a few more twists and turns and some people are saying you might need 50 points to stay up this season, - if that's the case then half the league still aren't safe.

Dear Chris, I am a huge fan of your work and place great stock in your opinions and, above all, in your passion for the Football League. Anyway, I just wondered why you have never written about Nigel Adkins. I think he is doing a fantastic job at Scunthorpe, in very difficult conditions, and I reckon he could make a Premiership manager one day. What do you think? Best wishes, Hugo Steckelmacher, Barcelona (formerly of Tottenham and Cambridge)

KAMMY REPLIES: I feel that the only guaranteed way for managers in the Football League to get a job in the Premier League is to take their team up. You can count the Premier League teams on one hand that have recruited from the league below - Gary Megson at Bolton and David Moyes at Everton. I think Nigel Adkins is a realist and he realises that.

I agree Nigel has done a fantastic job and if you look back through my previous columns, you'll see I've given him a mention a few times. Unfortunately Scunthorpe needed to try and establish themselves this year and losing players like Billy Sharp and Andy Keogh was a massive blow. You can't lose the goals they gave you and expect to replace them for nothing and still be successful. It's not impossible, but it's not easy and under the circumstances Nigel's done well to keep them in there fighting.

I was surprised they didn't sign Jermaine Beckford when they had him on loan from Leeds at the end of last season. They knew Dennis Wise didn't rate him, but they obviously couldn't afford him. In my opinion they would have got him for around £250,000 then, but he's worth a hell of a lot more than that now. They're relying on the likes of Geoff Horsfield, Martin Paterson and Paul Hayes but they simply haven't scored enough goals all season. However, as I said above, it's not over and Scunthorpe still have a fighting chance.

I agree with your column last week Chris when you said there are some decent teams in League One, but I am intrigued to know what tactics you feel are best to get Forest promoted. In their glory days Forest had a tradition of playing a passing game, keeping the ball on the ground and keeping possession. I have seen glimpses of it this season. However, at times we are also encouraged by Mr Calderwood to adopt a more direct style, getting the ball up to the attackers quickly, particularly away from home. I believe the uncertainty on which tactics to adopt lies at the heart of Forest's inconsistency and inability thus far to get out of League One. What do you think, Chris? Mike Dunn, Forest Fan, Wollaton.

KAMMY REPLIES: I'm not going to argue with you Mike because I'm sure you watch them more regularly than I do. I can only judge them on the two or three occasions I've seen them and when they played at Leeds they certainly didn't play a long-ball game. I also thought they were the better team last Monday and they were unlucky to let Carlisle take all the points off them. A draw would have been a fair result, but sometimes you don't get what you deserve.

As I write, they're six points off second spot. I think Swansea have got the title done and dusted, so they're in a competition for second place with the likes of Carlisle and Doncaster and all the teams down to Leeds are probably still in with a shout. Who knows what's going to happen there?

Do you have a question for Kammy? Let us know what you think by using the feedback form below and continue to email him here

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