Johnnie Jackson not planning major backroom changes at AFC Wimbledon

Johnnie Jackson is not expecting to make major changes to his AFC Wimbledon backroom team.

The former Charlton Athletic manager was appointed by the Dons on Monday and brought in Terry Skiverton as his assistant.

But Jackson was quick to make clear that at the moment he is only intent on making slight alterations off the field in terms of the existing staff.

“There is a bit of rejigging behind the scenes that we need to do, to make sure everyone has got clearly defined roles,” Jackson told the South London Press. “But I’m not going to go in there and make wholesale changes, I don’t think you need to.

“There are really good people at the football club. When I was thinking about and asking around, all I got was that it was a really good club with really good people there. I’ve found that. I was at the training ground today (Wednesday) and met with Ashley Bayes, the goalkeeping coach, and Rob Tuvey, the first-team coach. Really good people and really excited by my arrival, it seemed, and fully onboard with what I wanted to do.

“I always want to give people the benefit of the doubt to show what they are good at. Empowering your staff is really important and giving them that freedom to express themselves, to show what they’re good at and what they can bring to the party.”

Skiverton had ended his long association with Yeovil to join Jackson’s coaching team at Charlton in January. He was also released from his role when Addicks owner Thomas Sandgaard decided on a managerial change.

Terry Skiverton Picture: Keith Gillard

“Terry came in and was great for me, a really big help,” said Jackson. “Lots of experience – he was very good on the grass but also managing me, that’s an important part of that assistant role. I’ve been there and done it. You are a bit of a therapist. I did my whole Pro Licence presentation on that – what makes a good assistant and what does a manager need from them.

“There’s a lot to it. It’s a real niche role.

“Terry is excellent at it. He enjoys it and enjoys the challenge of managing up and down. He challenges me – which is what you want from that role as well. He was excited coming to work for me and excited by the project. We weren’t put off by what happened and how it ended.

“We feel we work really well together. I sounded him out as soon as this opportunity came about and he was right onboard with it. He was as excited as I was.”

Jackson is back in football management a fortnight after his 12-year stay at Charlton came to an end.

Asked when he realised he looked set to be Wimbledon’s choice to succeed Mark Bowen, he replied: “Probably the middle to end of last week. It happened pretty quickly. I had a couple of discussions, then a meeting and then a formal interview. It all happened quite quickly after the interview, that I was made an offer..

“I knew they were having discussions with other people and going through their due process, which of course they should. Once I came into the fold and got in front of them, and had those discussions, it seemed to move pretty quickly. They liked what they heard and I liked what I heard. We seem very aligned with our thinking and where we want to go with it.”




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