Former Newcastle United defender with 169 appearances set to charge of League Two club

The former Newcastle United defender is set to manage in the Football League for the first time.
Former Newcastle United defender Mike Williamson. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)Former Newcastle United defender Mike Williamson. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)
Former Newcastle United defender Mike Williamson. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Former Newcastle United defender Mike Williamson is set to leave Gateshead and take charge of Milton Keynes Dons.

The League Two outfit parted company with Graham Alexander on Monday after just 16 games in charge. He leaves The Dons 16th in the table, six points off the play-off positions and the same tally above the relegation zone.

Williamson immediately emerged as the early favourite to take over at the Stadium MK and NewcastleWorld understands it is “highly likely” he will succeed Alexander.

Former Newcastle United defender Mike Williamson. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)Former Newcastle United defender Mike Williamson. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)
Former Newcastle United defender Mike Williamson. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

The 39-year-old first moved to the North East in January 2010 when he joined Newcastle from Portsmouth. He made 169 appearances across a six-and-a-half-year spell before going to play for Wolverhampton Wanderers and Oxford United.

He returned to the region with The Heed in 2018, initially as a player before becoming player-manager a year later following the club’s demotion to National League North when they almost went out of business.

Williamson led Gateshead back to the National League in just his second campaign in charge and last season saw him stabilise the club in non-league’s top-flight, as well as reach Wembley for the FA Trophy final, where they suffered defeat to Halifax Town.

Fifteen games into the new season and The Heed sit 6th inside the National League play-off places having won seven, drawn four and lost four. Assistant manager Ian Watson is expected to go with Williamson.

MK Dons travel to Accrington Stanley on Saturday while Gateshead are at Chesterfield.