Jordan Houghton knows it will take a whole-squad effort in order to be successful this season.
With the Coronavirus outbreak delaying the start of the 2020/21 season by over the month, EFL clubs will be expected to complete their 46-game league campaigns over just 34 weeks, as well as navigating their way through Carabao Cup, EFL Trophy and Emirates FA Cup ties.
While eager to be involved as much as possible, Houghton knows that playing every minute will be unlikely in this unique season – meaning there will be more of an emphasis on quality depth.
“I think you’d be silly to think you’ll be playing every single game of the season, especially after having so much time off,” Houghton said in his press conference earlier this week.
“You might feel fit now, but once you’ve done a couple of ‘Saturday, Tuesdays’ you might feel your legs a bit.
“Squad depth will be important this season more than ever before. It’s going to be important to rotate and we’ll be calling on the whole squad, even the young lads.
“That means everyone will need to work hard to be as close to 100 per cent as often as possible. That means recovery after games and training will be massive.
“It’s going to be about us as professionals looking after ourselves and trusting the staff around us to look after us. We’ve got a really good Medical and Sport Science Department – so I’m sure they’ll look after us.
“Everyone in the league is in the same boat. It’s going to come down to who adapts the best and who gets on with it.”
MK Dons get their 2020/21 campaign underway in just over a week’s time when they take on Coventry City in Round One of the Carabao Cup.
While there is still time to fine tune ahead of that Stadium MK clash, Houghton is confident the squad will be physically ready for the challenge when Saturday 5 September comes around.
“It’ll take a little bit of time to get going again as we’ve been away for a long period but I think I can speak for everyone when I say that we all feel fit and all raring to go!
“We’re all looking forward to it and I think with a bit more work on the training ground, we’ll be good.
“The opening day is the best part of the season and while it will be a little bit different with no fans, we’re all excited for it.”
MK Dons face Coventry City in Round One of the Carabao Cup on Saturday 5 September - their first match of the 2020/21 season. Kick-off is at 3pm.
The only way to watch Russell Martin's men in action is by purchasing a Video Match Pass on iFollow MK Dons. For just £10, you'll have be able to enjoy the game live on your computer, laptop, tablet or mobile device, wherever you are!
To purchase a Video Match Pass click HERE. Coverage on Saturday 5 September starts at 2pm on mkdons.com.