Jordan Houghton hopes to continue thriving under the pressure that comes with his pivotal role in Russell Martin’s MK Dons side.
Houghton carries huge responsibility in Martin’s midfield, expected to provide the link between defence and attack, as well as break up play, from his deep-lying central midfield position.
It’s a job that often sees the 24-year-old forced to play with his back to goal on the edge of his own area, with one or sometimes two defenders around him. That doesn’t faze him, though.
“There is pressure and it can be a difficult role to play but it’s nothing I can’t do,” Houghton said in his pre-match press conference ahead of this weekend’s clash with Shrewsbury Town.
“I need to be one step ahead and think about what they might do to stop me getting on the ball. We often discuss how teams may set up to put me off my style.
“For me, it's pleasing to come off the pitch after someone has tried to man-mark me out of the game because it shows I’ve done something right. If a game went by and a team didn't put a man on me, I wouldn't be doing my job.
“In the last four to six weeks, I like to think I’ve kicked on another level but there are still better performances out there. I want to be dictating games every week because I know I can do that.”
He continued: “The system really suits me and it also all goes hand-in-hand with the boys at the back doing the business and the boys up top giving us that threat, which they are.
“I've got a manager who really believes in me and vocalises that. He has been really good to be. When he was a player too, I always used to go to him for advice. Now he's the manager, it's even better.
“It’s nice to hear what he has said about me, but I think everyone feels the same about him too. Performances have picked up and points are coming on board, and that comes with an enjoyable environment.”
Jordan Houghton and MK Dons are back in Sky Bet League One action this weekend when they take on Shrewsbury Town at the Montgomery Waters Meadow.
Tickets are priced at £20 adults, £15 seniors/students/young adults and £8 juniors while under-12s go FREE.
Official Away Travel is available for this fixture, with coach spaces priced at £18 Season Ticket holders/members and £19 all other supporters. Coaches will depart Stadium MK at 10.30am.
To book tickets/travel click HERE, visit the Box Office at Stadium MK or call 0333 200 5343. Tickets will be available from the Club until 5pm on Friday.