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AFCW next manager after Johnnie Jackson
What you should know about AFC Wimbledon’s Johnnie Jackson
When a lower division team gets a dreaded demotion in English football, the first person to receive backlash is its manager. Such was the case for AFC Wimbledon at the end of the EFL League One 2021-22 season. Their time in the league was marred with constant losses and a lack of direction. This obvious loss of touch had been brewing for a while, especially due to the lack of success following the departure of top players. Top scorer Ollie Palmer was sold to Wrexham and its other forward, Aaron Presley could not finish the season due to a serious injury. This sudden change in trends for the team spelled an unfortunate sign that things were heating up for then-manager, Mark Robinson.
After 20 winless games, Robinson parted ways with the team by mutual consent. Mark Bowen was hired as its caretaker, but he was unable to change their imminent relegation status, so he departed the club as well.
To fix the growing concerns for AFC Wimbledon’s future, Johnnie Jackson was hired to the team for the 2022-23 season. His coaching background isn’t extensive by any means, but Jackson seems to have the right ideas for the Dons in this season.
For the club owners, EFL League Two is not a place they like to be. Getting on top of their game and finding their way back into League One is a priority that can’t be understated for this team.
During his time coaching Charlton Athletic, Jackson was able to secure a successful spell as caretaker. His best moment was when the team achieved nine wins within a span of 13 matches. After this, he was promoted to the status of permanent manager on December 2021.
So far at AFC Wimbledon, Johnnie Jackson is easing into his role thanks to a two-year deal. He had a somewhat mixed start to the season, but he has managed to show a lot of brilliance in terms of tactics and player management. Jackson was even awarded EFL League Two Manager of the Month in November 2022. This award was well-deserved, especially after he earned seven points in three games against some of the tougher teams in the league.
Turning the tide for the Dons won’t be an easy task, and it’s going to take a lot more than decent streaks of luck. Jackson understands this, which is why the team has brought in some more experienced players to take things to the next level. Alex Pearce, Harry Pell and Chris Gunter are making up for their deficiencies. The team is equipped with some of the brightest youngsters on the pitch, but they lack some of the experience needed to handle pressure in better ways.
Player morale is also something that Jackson is mindful of, choosing to avoid putting pressure on the players with their amazing form in recent games. His philosophy as a manager is one that looks at what the team needs in a more personable manner. “I think you have to be adaptable as a manager,” and “I’m very much for my players.” Are a few choice words he shared with Sky Sports.
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