Milton Keynes Dons announce the appointment of Graham Alexander as Head Coach.
Alexander, a two-time promotion winning manager, arrives at Stadium MK having most recently been at the helm at Motherwell, whom he led to Europa Conference League qualification in 2021/22.
The 51-year-old has taken charge of 439 games in his managerial career, including 370 in English football across spells with Fleetwood Town, Scunthorpe United, Salford City. He has a 44% career win percentage in England and has reached the Play-Offs with all three EFL clubs he has been in charge of. He is also a seven-time Manager of the Month winner.
Alexander is a former Scottish international who is one of only two outfield players in English football history to have made 1,000 professional appearances. He spent all his playing career south of the border, representing Scunthorpe United, Luton Town, Burnley and Preston North End.
Speaking to iFollow MK Dons, Alexander said: “I am delighted to be here and to be named Head Coach of MK Dons. I’m grateful to the Club for showing faith in me and providing me with this fantastic opportunity.
“This is, of course, a Club with great potential, though we know we need to win on the pitch to justify everything we’ve got off it - that’s what me and Chris are here to do. That will require a lot of hard work but we are both committed and driven to try and bring success to MK Dons.
“I am a Head Coach who is adaptable in my approach. It’s the players who go out onto the pitch and win games so it’s about analysing what they are best at and creating a framework which allows them to flourish. Ultimately, though, I’ve always set my teams out to score goals – without doubt that’s something we’ll be looking to bring to this job.”
He added: “Coming off the back of a difficult time for the Club, I fully understand what the supporters will want and expect from their team.
“We want them to be able to look forward with positivity and belief. For all of us, nothing gets better than winning on a Saturday and we will work every single minute to give the MK Dons supporters a team that can be successful.”
Chairman Pete Winkelman said of the appointment: “I am very pleased to welcome Graham and Chris to the Club. This is a start of a new chapter for us.
“Graham ticked all the boxes for us following a lengthy and thorough process, and he brings with him the football experience and success, both as a player and as a manager, that we demanded of our next Head Coach.
“He knows exactly how he is finding us and is fully aware of the task in hand. We, as a Club, will give him every bit of support we can and I have no doubt that our supporters will do the same.”
Winkelman added: “I am still hurting from what happened last season, as I’m sure all our supporters are, but this is now the time to truly look forward. Know that we are extremely motivated and committed to putting things right and we believe that bringing Graham Alexander to MK Dons as our Head Coach is the right move to help us achieve that.”
Graham Alexander will be joined at Stadium MK by Chris Lucketti, who will take on the role of Assistant Head Coach.
Lucketti is a former defender who amassed over 600 career appearances for clubs such as Bury, Huddersfield Town, Preston North End, Sheffield United and Southampton.
As a coach, Lucketti has worked alongside Alexander at each of his managerial appointments - Fleetwood Town, Scunthorpe United, Salford City and Motherwell. He has also managed 15 games himself, five as caretaker of Fleetwood and 10 while in charge of Bury between November 2017 and January 2018, and is a UEFA PRO Licence Holder.
Speaking to iFollow MK Dons, Lucketti said: “I am delighted to be here and can’t wait to get going.
“I have worked with Graham for a number of years and I have a huge amount of respect for him as a person and as a Head Coach. I can see the drive and determination he has to be successful and to win – we are fully aligned in that regard.
“We both want to play a part in taking this Club back to where it should be. We want to give the supporters, and everyone associated with MK Dons, a team that they can be proud of – that’s our focus and that work starts now.”
Graham Alexander, 51, began his football career with Scunthorpe United and went on to play for them, Luton Town, Preston North End and Burnley, before retiring from the game in 2013.
He made over 1,000 career appearances in total and finished his career third all-time for league appearances in English football with 833. On an international level, he also earned a total of 40 international caps for Scotland.
Alexander got his first taste of management with Preston North End during the 2012/13 season, following the departure of Phil Brown. Along with David Unsworth, he took caretaker charge of five games, the first of which was against MK Dons, and lost only once.
Appointed Preston’s Head of Youth Development following his retirement, Alexander was soon recruited by Fleetwood Town to be their manager. Following his appointment in December 2012, he spent close to three years on the Fylde coast, leading the Cod Army to promotion from League Two in 2014.
Alexander left Fleetwood in September 2016 and, later that campaign, returned to management as boss of Scunthorpe United. He guided the Iron to the League One Play-Offs in his first full season in charge but left the role in March 2018, finishing with a win percentage of 47% and with his team fifth in the table.
Two months later, Alexander was named the manager of National League outfit Salford City and, in the 2018/19 campaign, his Ammies team won promotion to the EFL via the play-offs. The following season, Alexander’s side established themselves in League Two and also reached the EFL Trophy Final.
Alexander parted company with Salford in October 2020, despite the Greater Manchester club sitting within the League Two play-off places and with Alexander boasting an impressive win percentage of 48% across 112 games.
He was soon approached by Motherwell, who made him their Head Coach in the following January. Alexander guided the Well from joint-bottom of the SPL upon his arrival, to a fifth-place finish in the 2021/22 campaign, ensuring qualification for the Europa Conference League. However, he would depart Fir Park in July 2022.
Chris Lucketti, also 51, came through the youth ranks at Rochdale but started his professional career with Halifax Town. He totalled over 600 league appearances during his playing days, the majority of which coming during long spells at Bury and Preston North End, as well as with Huddersfield Town, Sheffield United and Southampton.
After ending his playing career with three promotions to his name and with substantial time spent in the top-flight, Lucketti began coaching within the youth teams of Preston North End, before joining Graham Alexander at Fleetwood Town in December 2012.
Playing his part in guiding Fleetwood to promotion from League Two, Lucketti was then put in caretaker charge of the Cod Army following Alexander’s departure in September 2015. He took control of five games, winning three of those, before being kept on as assistant to Steven Pressley for the remainder of the 2015/16 season.
Lucketti, though, left the Fylde coast in July 2016 to work alongside Alexander at Scunthorpe United and in their first season together at Glanford Park, they reached the League One Play-Off Semi Final.
In November 2017, Lucketti was appointed to his first-ever Head Coach role, taking the reins at former club Bury. He managed 10 games at the then-Sky Bet League One outfit, before leaving his role in January 2018.
Lucketti linked up with Alexander for a third time in June 2018 when he was appointed assistant manager of Salford City. Together, the pair led the Ammies to promotion to the EFL for the first time, as well an EFL Trophy Final. They left Greater Manchester despite the team sitting fifth in the League Two table.
The duo were reunited again on January 2021, when they took over control of Motherwell. During their 18th-month spell together, they picked up the third-most points of any SPL club and secured European football for the Fir Park outfit.